Reading set "Random idioms to learn" (Number of items 10)

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cry over spilled milk

cry over spilled milk or cry over spilt milk  {v. phr.},  {informal}
To cry or complain about something that has already happened; be unhappy about something that cannot be helped.
After the baby tore up Sue's picture book, Sue's mother told her there was no use crying over spilled milk.
You have lost the game but don't cry over spilt milk.
Categories:informal verb

water over the dam

Something that happened in the past and cannot be changed.
Since the sweater is too small already, don't worry about its shrinking; that's water over the dam.
Categories:noun time

water down

water down  {v.}
To change and make weaker; weaken.
The Senator argued that the House should water down the bill before passing it.
The African American did not accept watered down Civil Rights legislation.
After talking with the management about their demands, the workers agreed to water them down.
The teacher had to water down the course for a slow-learning class.

of the first water

of the first water  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
Of the finest quality; superior; very good; best.
The jeweler chose diamonds of the first water for the queen's crown.
The dance program at graduation was of the first water.
Categories:adjective informal

hold water

hold water  {v. phr.}
1. To keep water without leaking.
That pail still holds water.
2.  {informal}
To prove true; stand testing; bear examination. — Usually used in negative, interrogative, or conditional sentences.
Ernest told the police a story that wouldn't hold water.
Categories:informal verb

wash one's hands of

wash one's hands of  {v. phr.}
To withdraw from or refuse to be responsible for.
We washed our hands of politics long ago.
The school washed its hands of the students' behavior during spring recess.

watered down

watered down  {adj.}
Weakened; diluted.
The play was a disappointing, watered down version of Shakespeare's Othello.

weigh one's words

weigh one's words  {v. phr.}
To choose your words carefully; be careful to use the right words.
When a teacher explains about religion, he must weigh his words because his pupils may be of several different faiths.
When old Mr. Jones talked to the students about becoming teachers, he spoke slowly, weighing his words.
In a debate, a political candidate has little time to weigh his words, and may say something foolish.
Categories:time verb

wet behind the ears

wet behind the ears  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
Not experienced; not knowing how to do something; new in a job or place.
The new student is still wet behind the ears; he has not yet learned the tricks that the boys play on each other.
Categories:adjective informal

wet blanket

wet blanket  {n.},  {informal}
A person or thing that keeps others from enjoying life.
The teenagers don't invite Bob to their parties because he is a wet blanket.
The weatherman throws a wet blanket on picnic plans when he forecasts rain.
Categories:informal life noun