Slang dictionary

water under the bridge

[waw-ter uhn-der th uh brij]

What does water under the bridge mean?

Water under the bridge refers to past events, especially fights or disagreement, that are forgiven, forgotten, or otherwise no longer considered important.

Where does water under the bridge come from?

Examples of water under the bridge

water under the bridge >~< just cuz i'm tired of dramz
@aethersynth, April, 2018
Why bother with this old stuff, I wondered. What purpose could there be in dredging up my less-than-noble behaviors toward others, let alone having to contact those people? Couldn’t I just let it be water under the bridge and start fresh?
Phillip Z., A Skeptic's Guide to the 12 Steps, 1990
It's a routine so played out it's practically protocol: A website announces changes (or, in some cases, just makes the changes without warning), users and readers hem and haw about everything they dislike about the ‘upgrade’ and, eventually, they get used to it and it's all water under the bridge.
Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, November, 2011

Who uses water under the bridge?

Today, when not referencing Adele’s popular single, water under the bridge is frequently used in colloquial speech and writing to refer to a feud, disagreement, or breakdown in a romantic relationship that the author (or character if in fiction) has moved on from.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of water under the bridge like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of water under the bridge that will help our users expand their word mastery.