Peter-out meaning

(idiomatic) To dwindle; to tail off; to diminish to nothing.

What started as a great effort ended up petering out to nothing.

verb
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Origin of peter-out

  • 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).
    From Wiktionary