to no avail

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to no avail

 and of no avail
Cliché with no effect; unsuccessful. All of my efforts were to no avail. Everything I did to help was of no avail. Nothing worked.
See also: avail

to no avail

without any benefit or result The boy pushed against the door to no avail - something heavy was holding it shut.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the phrase to little avail (having almost no benefit or result): Security forces tried to disperse the crowd, but to little avail.
See also: avail

to no avail

Also, of little or no avail. Of no use or advantage, ineffective, as in All his shouting was to no avail; no one could hear him, or The life jacket was of little or no avail. This idiom uses avail in the sense of "advantage" or "assistance," a usage dating from the mid-1400s. Also see to little purpose.
See also: avail
References in classic literature ?
My wife, who was present, scoffed at my compassion, which made her malice of no avail.
The Pereire, of the French Transatlantic Company, whose admirable steamers are equal to any in speed and comfort, did not leave until the 14th; the Hamburg boats did not go directly to Liverpool or London, but to Havre; and the additional trip from Havre to Southampton would render Phileas Fogg's last efforts of no avail.
Korak screamed commands to his huge protector, in an effort to halt him; but all to no avail.
We did all that love and money and even government resources could do to discover her; but all to no avail.
Additionally, there have been several cases in which the taxpayers have attempted to argue, to no avail, that their use of push-down accounting for periods prior to January 1, 1994 was incorrectly disallowed.
A few of the fans who gathered around the ball begged the USGA rules official standing nearby to give Palmer a free drop - ``C'mon,'' one said, ``it's Arnie'' - but to no avail.