in the hole

in the hole  {adv.} or  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
1a. Having a score lower than zero in a game, especially a card game; to a score below zero.
John went three points in the hole on the first hand of the card game.
1b. Behind an opponent; in difficulty in a sport or game.
We had their pitcher in the hole with the bases full and no one out.
Compare: ON THE SPOT.
2. In debt; behind financially.
John went in the hole with his hot dog stand.
It's a lot easier to get in the hole than to get out again.
Categories: {adj. phr.} {adv.} {informal}