DEFINITION of 'In The Tank'

A slang term referring to very poor performance, as in that of a security, sector or market. A security, sector or market can be considered "in the tank" once it has performed very poorly or well below expectations. A security, sector or market is said to "be tanking" while it is on its way down. An investor might say his investments are in the tank, meaning they are not doing well. Likewise, an investor could refer to her investments as tanking when the positions are deteriorating.

BREAKING DOWN 'In The Tank'

In the tank refers to investments or markets that have had a significant and often sudden decline or failure, as in "My stock portfolio is in the tank." Tanking refers to something that is currently doing poorly, as in "My 401(k) is tanking."

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