a lost cause

a lost cause

something or someone that has no chance of success I tried to stop the kids dropping their clothes on the floor, but finally decided it was a lost cause.
See also: cause, lost
References in classic literature ?
His very obstinacy and egoism now enabled him, blind, comparatively poor, and the representative of a lost cause, to maintain his proud and patient dignity in the midst of the triumph of all that was most hateful to him, and, as he believed, to God.
He led a lost cause, and he was not afraid of God's thunderbolts," Wolf Larsen was saying.