Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb idiomatic To dwindle; to tail off; to diminish to nothing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb use up all one's strength and energy and stop working
  • verb end weakly

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1846 US miners’ slang, from 1812 peter ("to become exhausted"). Various speculative etymologies have been suggested, either from St. Peter (from sense of “rock”), French péter ("to fart"), or saltpeter (ingredient in gunpowder, hence used in mining).

Examples

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