waste one's breath

waste one's breath

Speak in vain (because no one agrees), as in Don't waste your breath complaining to the supervisor-it won't help. This notion was first recorded about 1400 as wasting words. The exact idiom was first recorded in 1667. Also see save one's breath.
See also: breath, waste
References in periodicals archive ?
No need to waste one's breath explaining to them that Whitman's "Children of Adam" is as heteroerotic as "Calamus" is homo-: they're convinced that Whitman spent his waking hours prowling the streets of Washington and Camden in search of day laborers for a roll in the hay.