mill


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pill mill

A pain management clinic that inappropriately, irresponsibly, or illegally dispenses pain medications, especially to those without a prescription or in very large quantities. Three suspected pill mills were shut down by federal authorities today after investigators discovered a paper trail of fraudulent prescriptions written by doctors from overseas.
See also: mill, pill

rumor mill

The source from, or process by, which rumors are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in US. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumor mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no layoffs this year. One of the downsides of having a celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumor mill.
See also: mill, rumor

rumour mill

The source from or process by which rumours are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in UK. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumour mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no redundancies this year. One of the downsides of gaining celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumour mill.
See also: mill, rumour

(someone) could sell sawdust to a lumber mill

Someone is an extremely smooth, charming, or persuasive salesperson, such that he or she could sell something to those who have no need or use for it. I can't believe you were able to sell an extra 200 units to the hospital. You could sell sawdust to a lumber mill!
See also: could, lumber, mill, sawdust, sell

grist for (one's) mill

Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist for my mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
See also: grist, mill

grist to (one's) mill

Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist to my mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
See also: grist, mill

grist for the mill

 and grist for someone's mill; grist to the mill
Fig. something useful or needed. Bob bases the novels he writes on his own experience, so everything that happens to him is grist for the mill. Ever since I started making patchwork quilts, every scrap of cloth I find is grist for the mill.
See also: grist, mill

mill around

 and mill about
to wander or move around aimlessly within a small area. Everyone was milling around, looking for something to do. The students milled about between classes.
See also: around, mill

mill cannot grind with water that is past

Prov. Do not waste the opportunities you now have.; Do not waste time wishing for what you had in the past. If you want to go abroad, do it now, while you're young and have the money. The mill cannot grind with water that is past.
See also: cannot, grind, mill, past, water

mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small

Prov. It may take a long time, but evil will always be punished. Jill: It really doesn't seem right that Fred can be so horrible and dishonest, but he always gets everything he wants. Jane: Be patient. The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.
See also: god, grind, mill, of, small, yet

run-of-the-mill

common or average; typical. The restaurant we went to was nothing specialjust run-of-the mill. The service was good, but the food was run-of-the-mill or worse.

*through the mill

Fig. badly treated; abused and exhausted. (Fig. on a grain mill. *Typically: be ~; go ~; put someone ~; send someone ~.) This has been a rough day. I've really been through the mill. This old car is banged up, and it hardly runs. We really put it through the mill.
See also: mill, through

tilt at windmills

Fig. to fight battles with imaginary enemies; to fight against unimportant enemies or issues. (As with the fictional character, Don Quixote, who attacked windmills.) Aren't you too smart to go around tilting at windmills? I'm not going to fight this issue. I've wasted too much of my life tilting at windmills.
See also: tilt, windmill

(all) grist to the mill

  (British, American & Australian) also grist for your mill (American)
something that you can use in order to help you to succeed As an actor, all experience is grist to the mill.
See also: grist, mill

go through the mill

to experience a very difficult or unpleasant period in your life She really went through the mill with that son of hers.
See also: mill, through

put somebody through the mill

to ask someone a lot of difficult questions in order to test them They really put me through the mill in my interview.
See also: mill, put, through

run-of-the-mill

ordinary It's just a run-of-the-mill war film.

tilt at windmills

  (literary)
to waste time trying to deal with enemies or problems that do not exist We're not tilting at windmills here. If we don't do something about these problems, our environment may be in serious danger.
See also: tilt, windmill

grist for the mill

Something that can be used to advantage, as in These seemingly useless data will be grist for the mill when he lodges a complaint. This expression alludes to grist, the amount of grain that can be ground at one time. [Late 1500s]
See also: grist, mill

mills of the gods grind slowly

One's destiny is inevitable even if it takes considerable time to arrive. For example, I'm sure he'll be wealthy one day, though the mills of the gods grind slowly. This expression comes from ancient Greek, translated as "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small." In English it appeared in George Herbert's Jacula Prudentum (1640) as "God's mill grinds slow but sure."
See also: god, grind, mill, of, slowly

run of the mill

Ordinary, average, as in There's nothing special about these singers-they're just run of the mill. This expression alludes to fabrics coming directly from a mill without having been sorted or inspected for quality. It has survived such similar phrases as run of the mine and run of the kiln, for the products of mines and kilns. [Late 1800s]
See also: mill, of, run

through the mill

Hardship or rough treatment, as in They put him through the mill, making him work at every one of the machines, or Jane was exhausted; she felt she'd been through the mill. This term alludes to being ground down like grain in a mill. [Late 1800s]
See also: mill, through

tilt at windmills

Engage in conflict with an imagined opponent, pursue a vain goal, as in Trying to reform campaign financing in this legislature is tilting at windmills. This metaphoric expression alludes to the hero of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605), who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to strike) against a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants.
See also: tilt, windmill

fill-mill

n. a tavern. She stopped off at the fill-mill again this evening.

gin mill

and gin dive and gin palace
n. a saloon; a low liquor establishment. (Older.) Fred hit every gin mill on the way home. The joint looks like a gin dive. I’m not going in there!
See also: gin, mill

milled

mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also cut.) She was cut up with all that booze—milled, I guess.
See also: mill

run-of-the-mill

mod. average; typical. (Referring to the typical quality of a product that comes out of a mill.) This stuff is just run-of-the-mill.

through the mill

mod. abused; well-worn. That was some convention. I’ve really been through the mill.
See also: mill, through

tilt at windmills

To confront and engage in conflict with an imagined opponent or threat.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

Fight imaginary enemies or fight a battle that can't be won. “Tilt” means “joust,” as in mounted knights fighting each other with lances. In Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha came upon a row of windmills and took them for giants, their flailing arms ready to do battle. Despite his squire Sancho Panza's pointing out that they were windmills, Don Quote set his lance, spurred his steed Rocinante, and charged the “enemy.” Alas for the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, the windmills prevailed. Anyone who similarly takes on a losing cause is tilting at windmills.
See also: tilt, windmill
References in classic literature ?
It is pleasant to find that many of its Tales are of the Mills and of those who work in them; that they inculcate habits of self-denial and contentment, and teach good doctrines of enlarged benevolence.
Many of the circumstances whose strong influence has been at work for years in our manufacturing towns have not arisen here; and there is no manufacturing population in Lowell, so to speak: for these girls (often the daughters of small farmers) come from other States, remain a few years in the mills, and then go home for good.
That sagacious Miss Mills, too; that amiable, though quite used up, recluse; that little patriarch of something less than twenty, who had done with the world, and mustn't on any account have the slumbering echoes in the caverns of Memory awakened; what a kind thing she did!
Copperfield,' said Miss Mills, 'come to this side of the carriage a moment - if you can spare a moment.
Behold me, on my gallant grey, bending at the side of Miss Mills, with my hand upon the carriage door!
What could I do but tell Miss Mills, with grateful looks and fervent words, how much I appreciated her good offices, and what an inestimable value I set upon her friendship!
Then Miss Mills benignantly dismissed me, saying, 'Go back to Dora
I was shown into a room upstairs, where Miss Mills and Dora were.
Miss Mills was very glad to see me, and very sorry her papa was not at home: though I thought we all bore that with fortitude.
Polly took the bit of paper Miss Mills gave her, and read these words:
There," and Miss Mills pointed to the door of her own little bedroom.
As Miss Mills spoke in her motherly tone, and cast a proud and happy look toward the warm and quiet nest in which she had sheltered this friendless little sparrow, feeling sure that God meant her to keep it from falling to the ground, Polly put both arms about her neck, and kissed her withered cheek with as much loving reverence as if she had been a splendid saint, for in the likeness of this plain old maid she saw the lovely charity that blesses and saves the world.
Dear Miss Mills, tell me what to do, let me help you, I 'm ready for anything," said Polly, very humbly, for her own troubles looked so small and foolish beside the stern hardships which had nearly had so tragical an end, that she felt heartily ashamed of herself, and quite burned to atone for them.
Miss, Mills stopped to stroke the fresh cheek opposite, to smile, and say, "Then, Polly, I think I 'll ask you to go in and say a friendly word to my little girl.
Yes, Miss Mills lets me have a little room up stairs, and there I have my cat and bird, my piano and my posy pots, and live like a queen.