verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
- to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
Origin of boat
British Dictionary definitions for miss the boat
Word Origin for boat
Word Origin and History for miss the boat
Old English bat "boat, ship, vessel," from Proto-Germanic *bait- (cf. Old Norse batr, Dutch boot, German Boot), possibly from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (see fissure), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship. French bateau "boat" is from Old English or Norse. Spanish batel, Italian battello, Medieval Latin batellus likewise probably are from Germanic.
Idioms and Phrases with miss the boat (1 of 2)
miss the boat
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.
Idioms and Phrases with miss the boat (2 of 2)
see burn one's bridges (boats); in the same boat; miss the boat; rock the boat.