I am looking for a word to describe something/someone that is inevitably going to collapse or die and there is no hope in sight to change that fact. An example:

Yahoo is___anyway, no one could save it.

Edit: The closest word I can find is 'doomed', is that a idiomatic word to describe that situation?

  • 1
    What have you tried so far? Look for synonyms of hopeless first. And go down that rabbit hole. Come back. And then please include the research you've done.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:35
  • 1
    Exactly. There are too many possible answers.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:54
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    Doomed is a perfect fit, and is common and idiomatic in your example usage.
    – Hellion
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 17:19
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    Personally, I'd choose the idiomatic phrase "beyond hope" as I it's informality suggests the dire situation directly but does not use a sort of designation fitting clear objective standards.
    – Tom22
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 17:20
  • 2
    Please read this.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 22:47

3 Answers 3


Terminal, Cambridge English Dictionary

(of a disease or illness) leading to death:

His mother has a terminal illness.

By extension, one can use terminal as the OP did, to describe the condition of a company or an institution that cannot survive. Oxford English Dictionary:

c. fig. and in extended use: irreversible, irreparable; extremely severe; calamitous, disastrous.....

1981 Daily Tel. 21 Dec. 2/1 Another contest for Labour's deputy leadership next year could prove ‘terminal’ for the party, Mr Neil Kinnock..said.


1996 Big Issue 15 July 12/1 The business went into what many thought was terminal decline.


And, in case a reader cannot access the OED, see this definition from Oxford Dictionaries

2.3 informal [--] Extreme and usually beyond cure or alteration (used for emphasis)

‘an industry in terminal decline’

‘you're making a terminal ass of yourself’

  • You need to supply an authoritative reference licensing such a broadened usage. One dictionary at least certainly provides such. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 21:00
  • @Edwin Ashworth Done
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 21:24
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    Thanks. It's the 'terminal patient' sense that is being broadened, not the 'terminal illness'. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 21:36

How about irredeemable?

Incapable of being redeemed or bought back.

  • Oxford English Dictionary

Hence, redeem, note the original definition first and then the definition that would apply here.

1.a. to deliver (a person, a soul, etc.) from sin or damnation.

2.b. To make good (a loss).

  • Oxford English Dictionary

Example uses:

Six months later, the damaging consequences of this fateful choice are undeniable–and I believe irredeemable.

Think Washington, D.C., and your statehouse are irredeemable and unproductive? Look to city hall for answers.

So in your sentence, it would be

Yahoo is irredeemable anyway, no one could save it.


Perhaps fait accompli would work for you?

Per Oxford Dictionaries:

fait accompli


A thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.
‘the results were presented to shareholders as a fait accompli’

You would probably need to reword it a bit:

Yahoo's demise is a fait accompli anyway, no one could save it.

  • Woah. Where do these words even come from? \-(O.o)-/`
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:40
  • @NVZ -- per Oxford: Origin - Mid 19th century: from French, literally ‘accomplished fact’. 8^) Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:42
  • That was a rhetorical question. :P
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:42
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    In old blighty here, we tend to use fait accompli when there is something that someone or other wants to do that other people are trying to prevent from happening - but that someone or other has effectively already done it because it has in some way been decided or is going to happen. So in the UK, we wouldn't use that quite in that way, I don't think. Reason is that there doesn't appear to be anyone who is trying to or actually achieving that demise ... :) [not my downvote, btw] Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 23:09
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    @Araucaria -- Here, on the west coast of the US, it is used more as "a done deal" -- it's something that is going to happen, no matter what, and there's nothing you can do about it. (Of course, that's right when the hero steps in and does something wild and outrageous and saves the day just in the nick of time, but I digress...) Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 23:23

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