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plain sailing

Smooth, uninterrupted, and/or easy progress, movement, or development. Now that we've gotten that problem figured out, the project should be plain sailing from here on! We've got about a 13-hour road trip ahead of us, but it looks like plain sailing for most of it.
See also: plain, sailing

sail against the wind

To work to achieve something amid challenging circumstances, such as staunch opposition. This nautical phrase refers to the difficulty of sailing in the opposite direction as the wind. I know that I am sailing against the wind to try get this unpopular law passed, but I am confident that it will ultimately make our town a safer place.
See also: sail, wind

sail before the wind

To achieve something easily. This nautical phrase refers to the ease of sailing in the same direction as the wind. I don't understand people who just sail before the wind and get great grades without ever opening a book, when I study really hard and am just an average student. I hardly studied, and I still got A's on all of my exams—I really sailed before the wind this semester!
See also: before, sail, wind

clear sailing

Describing a situation that is free of obstacles or challenges, especially after obstacles or challenges have been overcome. We should be there soon—now that we're past the traffic jam, it should be clear sailing from here on out.
See also: clear, sailing

be plain sailing

To be smooth, uninterrupted, and/or easy, especially as of progress, travel, or development. Now that we've gotten that problem figured out, the project should be plain sailing from here on! We've got about 13 hours of driving ahead of us, but it looks like most of it is plain sailing.
See also: plain, sailing

*clear sailing

 and *smooth sailing
Fig. a situation where progress is made without any difficulty. (*Typically: be ~; have ~.) Once you've passed that exam, it will be clear sailing to graduation. Working there was not all smooth sailing. The boss had a very bad temper.
See also: clear, sailing

be plain sailing

to be very easy The roads were busy as we drove out of town but after that it was plain sailing all the way to the coast.
See be as clear as day
See also: plain, sailing

false colors

Pretense, misrepresentation, or hypocrisy; deceptive statements or actions. For example, She's sailing under false colors-she claims to be a Republican, but endorses Democratic legislation . This term alludes to the practice of pirate ships sailing under false colors-that is, running a particular flag specifically to lure another vessel close enough to be captured. [Late 1600s]
See also: color, false

plain sailing

Easy going; straightforward, unobstructed progress. For example, The first few months were difficult, but I think it's plain sailing from here on. Alluding to navigating waters free of hazards, such as rocks or other obstructions, this term was transferred to other activities in the early 1800s.
See also: plain, sailing

smooth sailing

Easy progress, as in We had a hard time setting up the new computer system but it'll be smooth sailing from here on . The smooth in this idiom alludes to calm waters, free from big waves or roughness, a usage dating from the late 1300s. The transfer to other kinds of easy progress dates from the second half of the 1900s. Also see plain sailing.
See also: sailing, smooth

clear sailing

mod. easy; easy going. It’ll be clear sailing from now on.
See also: clear, sailing
References in periodicals archive ?
The Journal of Commerce has published sailing schedules throughout its illustrious history and launched the JOC Sailings brand in 2008 to effectively distribute up-to-date sailing information online.
San Francisco has historically been a great summer home port for us, and now passengers can combine the convenience and appeal of departing from this world-class city, with sailing on a small ship that offers big-ship choice.
On these same sailings, AARP Passport powered by Travelocity offers a program tailored specially for travelers age 50 plus as part of the AARP Passport Cruise Collection.
7-night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas, April 17-24, sailing from Los Angeles.
Six-day sailings between Barcelona and Rome depart: April 15, 29; October 21; November 11, 2012.
An 8-night Eastern Caribbean Holiday sailing on the brand new Caribbean Princess.
7-Day Sailing from Athens to Rome plus Two Free Hotel Nights in Athens from $2,299 per person, double occupancy
Michelle Bernstein, executive chef/owner of MB Restaurant, Co-host of "Melting Pot," sailing on the September 9, 2005, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Statendam.
For more details and additional suggested sailings for first-timers, visit www.
The ship's November 3, seven-night sailing has been modified.
Early booking fares for Princess' 2004-05 Caribbean season begin at $549 for seven-day sailings and $899 for 10-day cruises.
cruise line with the two largest sailing clipper ships ever built,
Princess has announced a new series of roundtrip sailings from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera on the Star Princess this fall.
The special promotion includes two-for-one fares on all Princess Mediterranean sailings, plus complimentary Princess Travel Care(SM) insurance that offers "cancel for any reason" coverage.
The newest ship in Princess' fleet, Star Princess offers identical Inside Passage ports of call from Seattle, departing on Saturdays versus Diamond Princess' Sunday sailings.