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get wind of

Learn of; hear a rumor about. For example, “If my old aunt gets wind of it, she'll cut me off with a shilling” (William Makepeace Thackeray, in Paris Sketch Book, 1840). This expression alludes to an animal perceiving a scent carried by the wind. [First half of 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.