beat a dead horse

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beat a dead horse

To continue to focus on something—especially an issue or topic—that is no longer of any use or relevance. We've all moved on from that problem, so there's no use beating a dead horse.
See also: beat, dead, horse

dead horse

1. Something—especially an issue or topic—that is no longer of any use or relevance (as used in the phrase "beat/flog a dead horse"). The President's pledge to overhaul the education system became something of a dead horse after the economy crashed. We've all moved on from that problem, so there's no use beating a dead horse.
2. dated A seaman who incurs debt for wages paid in advance. Countless men became dead horses on their ships, trapped paying off debts that were in themselves incurred to pay off other debts, in an endless cycle.
See also: dead, horse

flog a dead horse

To continue to focus on something—especially an issue or topic—that is no longer of any use or relevance. We've all moved on from that problem, so there's no use flogging a dead horse.
See also: dead, flog, horse

flog a dead horse

 and beat a dead horse
Fig. to insist on talking about something that no one is interested in, or that has already been thoroughly discussed. The history teacher lectured us every day about the importance of studying history, until we begged him to stop flogging a dead horse. Jill: I think I'll write the company president another letter asking him to prohibit smoking. Jane: There's no use beating a dead horse, Jill; he's already decided to let people smoke.
See also: dead, flog, horse

beat a dead horse

Also, flog a dead horse. Try to revive interest in a hopeless issue. For example, Politicians who favor the old single-tax idea are beating a dead horse. From the 1600s on the term dead horse was used figuratively to mean "something of no current value," specifically an advance in pay or other debt that had to be worked ("flogged") off. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: beat, dead, horse

dead horse

n. a dead issue, especially one that is referred to continually. (Often with beat, whip.) Forget it! Don’t waste time whipping a dead horse.
See also: dead, horse

flog

(flɑg)
tv. to promote, hype, or support something; to try to sell something aggressively. Fred was flogging this car so hard, I figured he was trying to get rid of it.