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[kuhm-uhp-uh ns] /ˌkʌmˈʌp əns/

noun, Informal.
deserved reward or just deserts, usually unpleasant:
He finally got his comeuppance for his misbehavior.
(informal) just retribution

also comeupance, 1859, presumably rooted in verbal phrase come up “present oneself for judgment before a tribunal” + -ance.


A deserved chastening, esp some event that checks a wrongdoer; just desserts (1958+)


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  • Come up smelling like a rose

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  • Come up to the wire

    verb phrase To approach the finish; come near the end: The crucial project is coming up to the wire and we’re a bit nervous [1970s+; fr the wire that marks the finish line of a race]

  • Come within an ace

    verb phrase To come very near to doing something, winning something, etc: She came within an ace of getting the world title [1704+; probably a version of the 13th-century term within ambs ace, ”very close to,” ambs ace being the lowest point in dice, two ones or snake-eyes, fr Old French fr Latin ambas as, […]

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