Go to pot


      • to deteriorate or become ruined
        To describe a situation or object that has fallen into a state of disrepair or decline, often due to neglect or lack of attention

      • to fail or become unsuccessful
        To refer to a person or group's downfall or failure, often in reference to a once successful venture or endeavor that has since become unsuccessful

      • to give in to vices or bad habits
        To describe someone succumbing to negative behaviors or indulging in harmful activities, often used in a moralistic or judgmental tone

      • to become disorganized or chaotic
        To describe a situation or environment that has become chaotic or unmanageable, often due to lack of organization or structure

    Examples of Go to pot

    • The discussion died down and everyone's spirits sank. John let out a big yawn and slumped back in his chair, picking up his glass. "Well, I guess this party's going to pot," he said, signaling to the waiter that he wanted another round of drinks.

      The idiom "go to pot" means that something is falling apart, disintegrating, or losing its value or quality. In this example, John uses the idiom to express his perception that the social gathering he is attending is losing its liveliness and energy, and as a result, becoming a wasted or futile event. The expression "pot" in this context is used figuratively as a symbol of decay, destruction, and worthlessness, much like how clay pots in ancient times might disintegrate over time due to age or use.

    • The conversation suddenly went to pot after the topic of politics was brought up.

      When a conversation degenerates into an awkward and uncomfortable situation, we say that it has "gone to pot". Here, "pot" refers to a stew or a dish that has been ruined or spoiled. The conversation, which may have been lively and engaging at first, turned sour and unproductive when the discussion veered towards a sensitive topic like politics.

    • After the raunchy comedy movie ended, the theater became deathly silent, and the audience just sat there, looking as though they had gone to pot.

      In this example, "gone to pot" is used to describe a situation where people have lost all energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. After the comedic movie ended, instead of dispersing or chatting, the audience became unnaturally quiet and still. It was as though they had nothing to say or do and had drained themselves completely.

    • The game of Monopoly, which had started off so promisingly, had gone to pot by the end of it.

      This sentence uses "gone to pot" to indicate that something that had the potential to be enjoyable or successful has failed miserably. In this example, we can see how a fun board game can sometimes turn into a laborious and tedious activity due to factors like bad luck or poor strategy. The speaker suggests that the game, which may have showcased high hopes at the outset, ended up being a disaster and was ruined completely.

    • The research project that had been meticulously planned for months went to pot after a key member dropped out unexpectedly.

      "Gone to pot" is used here to signify that an endeavor, which had initially been promising, has been compromised severely due to an unforeseen circumstance. In this instance, the speaker implies that the research project, which was intended to result in fruitful findings, failed as a consequence of the sudden departure of a pivotal contributor. The project, which was once shaping up to be a success, was ruined completely.


    The idiom "go to pot" can be used to describe a variety of situations, all of which involve a downfall or decline. It can refer to physical objects deteriorating, a person or group's failure, giving in to negative behaviors, or a chaotic environment. Overall, the idiom carries a negative connotation and is often used to express disappointment or disapproval.

    Origin of "Go to pot"

    The origin of this idiom is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the 16th century. One theory suggests that it may have come from the idea of cooking in a pot, where ingredients are mixed together and eventually become a mush or chaotic mess. Another theory suggests that it may have come from the practice of keeping tobacco in a pot, which would eventually lose its potency and become useless.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom has been used in English literature since the 16th century and has evolved over time to encompass a variety of meanings. It is often used in a figurative sense, rather than a literal one, and has become a common phrase in modern English. Whether used to describe a physical object or a situation, the idiom "go to pot" carries a strong sense of decline and failure.