waste one's breath

Speak in vain (because no one agrees), as in Don't waste your breath complaining to the supervisor—it won't help. This notion was first recorded about 1400 as wasting words. The exact idiom was first recorded in 1667. Also see save one's breath.


Nearby words

  1. waste disposal unit,
  2. waste gate,
  3. waste heat recovery,
  4. waste land, the,
  5. waste not, want not,
  6. waste pipe,
  7. waste product,
  8. waste well,
  9. wastebasket,
  10. wasted

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