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ditch (someone)

To leave, abandon, or purposefully lose someone. My little brother was being a real pest around me and my friends, so we decided to ditch him in the mall. I can't believe she ditched me to go hang out with her friends!
See also: ditch

ditch (some place)

To leave a place, especially one that is no longer of use or interest, generally in search of something better. Come on, let's ditch this place and go back to my house.
See also: ditch

ditch (something)

To throw away or abandon something. I was tired of carrying his bag for him, so I ditched it in a bush and went home. I had to ditch my car and walk into town after I ran out of gas.
See also: ditch

hurler on the ditch

A person who offers unsolicited criticism or advice about something in which he or she is not an active participant. Taken from the sport of hurling, a player of which is a hurler. Primarily heard in Ireland. All these people condemning the political process from social media, many of whom I'm sure don't vote, are just hurlers on the ditch in my opinion.
See also: ditch

keep it between the ditches

1. To drive safely; to stay on the road. (Usually said imperatively.) Whoa there, son. I know you're only just learning, but try to keep it between the ditches!
2. To behave properly or appropriately; to stay out of trouble or harm's way; keep to the straight and narrow. (Often said imperatively.) Okay, Bob, I'll see you after you're back from your trip. Keep it between the ditches now, you hear?
See also: ditch, keep

last-ditch attempt

A final effort or attempt to solve a problem or avoid failure or defeat, especially after a series of failures or setbacks. The home team is mounting one last-ditch attempt in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-ditch attempt to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.

the ox is in the ditch

The situation is dire and requires urgent and undivided attention to resolve it. Taken from the Bible (Luke 14), in which Jesus demonstrates to the Pharisees that some emergencies must be dealt with immediately, even if it means breaking the sabbath to do so. I was always taught to keep Sunday as a holy day, but you know as well as I do that if the ox is in the ditch, then you need to do what you can to make things right, no matter what day of the week it is! With our engine shot, stranded out on this desert highway, it seemed pretty clear to me that the ox was in the ditch.
See also: ditch, ox


Of or relating to a situation that is dire and requires urgent and undivided attention to resolve it. Taken from the Bible (Luke 14), in which Jesus demonstrates to the Pharisees that some emergencies must be dealt with immediately, even if it means breaking the sabbath to do so. I was going to miss the biggest meeting of the year, but my daughter's sickness was an ox-in-the-ditch situation.

*dull as dishwater

 and *dull as ditch water
very uninteresting. (*Also: as ~.) I'm not surprised that he can't find a partner. He's as dull as dishwater. Mr. Black's speech was as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull

*last-ditch effort

Fig. a final effort; the last possible attempt. (*Typically: be ~; have ~; make ~.) I made one last-ditch effort to get her to stay. It was a last-ditch effort. I didn't expect it to work.
See also: effort


a last-ditch attempt to solve a problem is the final attempt that you make after you have failed several times to solve it (always before noun) The gesture has been seen by many as a last-ditch attempt to win voters. The UN is trying to secure talks between the two sides in a last-ditch effort to avert war.

dull as dishwater

Boring, tedious, as in That lecture was dull as dishwater. The original simile, dull as ditchwater, dating from the 1700s, alluded to the muddy water in roadside ditches. In the first half of the 1900s, perhaps through mispronunciation, it became dishwater, that is, the dingy, grayish water in which dirty dishes had soaked.
See also: dishwater, dull

last-ditch effort

A desperate final attempt, as in We're making a last-ditch effort to finish on time. This expression alludes to the military sense of last ditch, "the last line of defense." Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.
See also: effort

dull as dishwater

See also: dishwater, dull


1. tv. to dispose of someone or something; to abandon someone or something. The crooks ditched the car and continued on foot.
2. tv. & in. to skip or evade someone or something. Pete ditched class today.
References in periodicals archive ?
Abdullah Al Hantoobi, Deputy Director of Fujairah Municipality, said: "Following the two deaths on November 2, the municipality, along with the Department of Public Works and Agriculture, set to identify other ditches to fill them.
But Moore has conducted a number of studies over the past 10 years showing that drainage ditches where plants are allowed to flourish are strikingly effective at keeping agricultural pollutants in field runoff from reaching surrounding surface waters.
Roadside ditches can be covered (or lined) with many materials.
Providing certain landscape character, ditches can become landscape feature, linear park space, habitat for birds and butterflies, and a real asset for neighborhoods.
These measurements will continue for the next four years as ditches are in-filled.
Ditches are consistent producers because deer avoid them.
A responsibility that includes their boundary ditches which they are slowly choking to death through the lack of proper waste management.
Morphologically, the Greater Cursus is unusual in that its side ditches do not run parallel with each other, for the southern ditch has a pronounced 'kink' outwards in its western portion, so that the width of the enclosure varies between 100 and 150m along its length (Darvill 2007: 89).
The report said the municipality would contribute to the cleanliness of the city and the ditches via satellite.
They also sampled water from irrigation ditches and waste-collection lagoons on dairy farms near the fiver.
A WARWICKSHIRE company is hoping to work for the Queen after buying the firm which maintains ditches on her estate.
The state agency is including a lot more features in this ditch than it has in ditches in the past, said Karl Wieseke, assistant project manager.
Ditch Pro is used to survey existing or intended drainage-ditch paths and automatically design and control a vertical-curve slope of surface ditches utilizing non-brand specific RTK GPS NEMA string outputs and vertical curve algorithms.
United States suggested that the only forage the court found you owned on these lands was a strip 50 feet on each side of your irrigation ditches.
The drainage was originally provided by a system of surface ditches and underground culverts, which channeled water to the streams on the estate, and then into the River Derwent.