tilt at windmills


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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

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

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

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 periodicals archive ?
This Grade Two heat represents a big step up on that in terms of class but Henderson is not one to tilt at windmills and has a powerful band of novices.
Even Don Quixote knew that there were many calm days on which you could safely tilt at windmills without getting the wind up your kilt.
But I don't want to tilt at windmills, so my take is to make sure they pay me fair market value, which, frankly, isn't what it's worth to me.
Ironically, the party's Left - centered in black voters - helped pave the way for the DLC back in 1988 by checking out of the electorate, opting instead to tilt at windmills with a Jesse Jackson who could never win the nomination.
Campbell's sport is jousting, and like the other competitors wielding lances on a dead run, he does not tilt at windmills.
It is a big jump to Group Three class here but Barry Hills is not known to tilt at windmills and she deserves the utmost respect.