I'm writing this piece of text, and sometimes it can be tricky, because English is not my first language, so obviously most of the time I think in my mother tongue.

We have this phrase in my language, a word-for-word translation of which is 'to fall in someone's eyes' - it is used when you do something that makes the other person greatly disappointed in you to the point where they don't want anything to do with you.

I browsed the Internet, and this phrase does not seem to be used in English. But I also failed to find anything similar. All the other options I was considering just don't convey the seriousness and importance I'm looking for.

  • That sounds like shame to me, or the related term to be ashamed of someone. Would those serve your needs, and if not can you give an example of how you might want to use this hypothetical phrase in a sentence?
    – jsheeran
    Sep 8, 2022 at 10:21
  • Given your "word-for-word translation", it would seem you're looking for a verb whose subject is the person losing status / goodwill, for which a possible candidate might be to fall from grace. But much else in the question text implies you're looking for a verb whose subject is the person who is disappointed [in someone they now disapprove of]. I think you need to give an exact "fill in the blank" example context to clarify the request. Sep 8, 2022 at 11:05
  • 2
    Be a total letdown.
    – user 66974
    Sep 8, 2022 at 11:07
  • 1
    You can "fall in someone's estimation" but that can be a small change rather than a big decline.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 8, 2022 at 12:42
  • Oh wow, thank you everyone! So the context is as follows: "I don't want to disappoint my father", or, using the phrase I mentioned, "I don't want to fall in my father's eyes". Actually, the options you've supplied me with pretty much cover what I wanted to convey, so it's just up to whichever one falls more naturally into the general picture. Once again, thank you, guys! What a great first experience on this site :)
    – nastiensen
    Sep 8, 2022 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


Let down

'Let down' by someone means that you feel disappointed in their behaviour, being less than you'd expected.


I feel very let down that he didn't show up when he promised.

I feel let down by him.

He let me down.


  • To say that X let Y down implies that X failed to so something specific that X owes specifically to Y (e.g. something that X has promised to Y). It is not clear whether that is what the OP has in mind, or more something like for X to fall in Y's estimation (as suggested by @StuartF), which may be triggered by X's behaving in a way that Y regards as wrong, even though Y is not directly wronged by it.
    – jsw29
    Sep 9, 2022 at 16:31
  • You can say, more generally 'I feel let down by him' which means that the person has gone down, in the eyes of the beholder, generally, and not only about one specific thing.
    – Jelila
    Sep 9, 2022 at 16:37

To fall from grace, & Good books/bad books

Fall from grace is very close to what you ask, it is very close to 'fall, in someone's eyes' though often used in the context of 'a society' or 'a community' or 'authority' rather than individually.


He fell from grace, in the dean's eyes, when he was caught cheating in the exam.

He fell from grace, in her eyes, when he was unfaithful to her.

He fell from grace, in the eyes of the team, when he missed the catch.

Note: Grace means 'blessed by God'. If you are outside of that, then you may find yourself outside of society's approval also.

It also implies that before, 'he was in her grace' or was 'in her good graces' (expression) - meaning, admired, revered, possibly even worshipped, by her.


Similar to this, is 'In her good books' or 'in her bad books', meaning, respectively, receiving, or not having, her favour. Such 'books' being, presumably, a list of names of individuals who are favoured, or disfavoured, by her.


A poem about such things is popping into my mind, it's lovely, so I'll share it here:


  • You have given two very different answers to this question, and one can't help wondering how they are supposed to be related to each other.
    – jsw29
    Sep 10, 2022 at 15:58
  • The answer to that is in the poem given as the last link.
    – Jelila
    Sep 10, 2022 at 19:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.