miss the boat
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Fail to take advantage of an opportunity, as in Jean missed the boat on that club membership. This expression, which alludes to not being in time to catch a boat, has been applied more widely since the 1920s.
Fail to understand something, as in I'm afraid our legislator missed the boat on that amendment to the bill. [Mid-1900s] Also see miss the point.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Words nearby miss the boat
misspelling, misspend, misspent, misstate, misstep, miss the boat, miss the point, misstrike, missus, missy, mist
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.