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and the band played on
Used to describe a serious situation that is being ignored or overshadowed, usually intentionally. People have tried for years to talk about how budget cuts have decimated hospitals, and the band played on. It's only now, in the face of a nationwide crisis, that people are finally acknowledging the dangerous situation we're in.
To unite with others, often for a particular cause or reason. We all need to band together if we want to stop that bully. You guys will not beat this team unless you put aside your differences and band together.
A quick and usually ineffective solution to a problem that only addresses the symptom and not the root cause. A reference to the Band-Aid brand of adhesive bandages. Sometimes capitalized. Primarily heard in US. Lowering educational standards in schools may increase graduation rates, but it does little more than slap a band-aid on a much deeper problem.
A quick, superficial, or temporary solution to a problem that does not address or resolve the underlying cause of said problem. A reference to the Band-Aid brand of adhesive bandages. Sometimes capitalized. While offering free pizza to customers affected by the oil spill is a cute band-aid solution, the company has no plan in place to deal with the actual damage that it caused.
See also: solution
A method of covering up a problem superficially or temporarily, rather than resolving it completely. A reference to the Band-Aid brand of adhesive bandages. Sometimes capitalized. Honestly, I think this is just a Band-Aid treatment—we need to work harder and find a real solution.
See also: treatment
climb on the bandwagon
To join, follow, or support someone or something only after it is successful or popular. I can't stand these people who just climb on the bandwagon after a win. Where were they last year when the team was terrible? A: "I thought your mom hated that candidate." B: "Well, he's the president now, so she's climbed on the bandwagon."
get on the bandwagon
To join, follow, or support someone or something only after it is successful or popular. I can't stand these people who just get on the bandwagon after a win. Where were they last year when the team was terrible? A: "I thought your mom hated that candidate." B: "Well, he's the president now, so she decided to get on the bandwagon."
A company or organization where most or all of the work is handled by one person. Most small businesses start out as a one-man band with the owner doing everything himself until he can afford to hire help.
1. A company or organization where most or all of the work is handled by one man. (Alternatively, "one-woman show.") My business started out as a one-man show. I did pretty much everything myself until I could afford to hire some help.
2. A theater performance that is written, directed, and performed by one man. (Alternatively, "one-woman show.") I heard Pete is doing his one-man show during the Fringe Festival next month!
strike up the band
To cause or instruct a band to begin playing music. We were told to strike up the band the moment the newlyweds came into the restaurant for the reception. Why don't they strike up the band already? Everyone's milling around the dance floor restlessly.
tighter than Dick's hatband
old-fashioned Exceptionally or peculiarly tight. I think you shrunk my shirt in the wash. It's tighter than Dick's hatband now! It was tighter than Dick's hatband with all of us crammed inside that tiny car of his.
See also: hatband
to beat the band
To a huge or the greatest possible extent or degree. They've been selling Girl Scout cookies to beat the band ever since they set up shop right outside. The child started screaming to beat the band when her parents took away her cotton candy.
when the band begins to play
When the situation becomes serious, critical, chaotic, or troublesome. Our analysts have been predicting a market crash for months now. If we don't get diversify our assets soon, we're going to be in serious trouble when the band begins to play. My parents' relationship has been on the rocks for years. I just hope I'm out of the house when the band begins to play.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
band together (against someone or something)
to unite in opposition to someone or something; to unite against someone or something. We must band together against the enemy. Everyone banded together to finish the cleanup work.
1. Lit. a performance put on by one person. It was a one-man show, but it was very entertaining. For a one-man show, it was very long.
2. Fig. an exhibition of the artistic works of one person. She is having a one-man show at the Northside Gallery. I'm having a one-man show next weekend. Come and see what I have done.
strike up the band
1. Lit. to cause a (dance) band to start playing. Strike up the band, maestro, so we all can dance the night away.
2. Fig. to cause something to start. Strike up the band! Let's get this show on the road.
to beat the band
very briskly; very fast. He's selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising. She worked to beat the band to get ready for this.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, one-man band. A person who does or manages just about everything, as in This department is a one-man show-the chairman runs it all, or John conducts the interviews, writes the articles, solicits ads, deals with the printer-he's a one-man band . This idiom alludes to the actor or artist responsible for the entire performance or exhibit, or the musician who plays every instrument in the group. [First half of 1900s]
to beat the band
Also, to beat all. To the greatest possible degree. For example, The baby was crying to beat the band, or The wind is blowing to beat the band, or John is dressed up to beat all. This idiom uses beat in the sense of "surpass." The first term may, according to one theory, allude to a desire to arrive before the musicians who led a parade, so as to see the entire event. Another theory holds that it means "make more noise than (and thereby beat) a loud band." [Colloquial; late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a one-man band
COMMON If you describe a man or an organization as a one-man band, you mean that one man does every part of an activity himself, without help from anyone else. He seemed to be a one-man band, taking orders, and cooking and serving at table. I'm a one-man band, Mr Herold. At present I haven't even got a secretary. Note: A woman who is like this is sometimes described as a one-woman band. I am no better at being in two places at once than the next one-woman band. Note: A one-man band is a street entertainer who plays several different instruments at the same time.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
when the band begins to playwhen matters become serious.
to beat the bandin such a way as to surpass all competition. North American informal
1995 Patrick McCabe The Dead School He was polishing away to beat the band.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To form a cohesive and cooperative group; unite: The people who opposed the new policy banded together to fight it.
2. To cause some things or people to form into a cohesive or cooperative group; unite things or people: The fact that we all had gone to the same school banded us together, and we became good friends.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. a performance put on by one person. It was a one-man show, but it was very entertaining.
2. n. an exhibition of the artistic works of one person. She is having a one-man show at the Northside Gallery.
to beat the band
mod. very hard and very fast. He’s selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
to beat the band
To an extreme degree.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A stopgap measure, a temporary expedient. This term applies the trade name for a small bandage, the Band-Aid, patented in 1924, to approaching or solving an issue in a makeshift way. It dates from the late 1960s and is approaching cliché status.
A person able to perform many different tasks well. The literal term applies to a musician who can play many instruments, sometimes even simultaneously. In one of his shows the composer and musical humorist Peter Schickele blew a bassoon while at the same time playing the piano with one hand or elbow. The term dates from the 1800s. The Burlington (Iowa) Hawk-Eye had it on July 1, 1876: “The one-man band, comprising drums, cymbals, violin, and a squeaking pipe . . . had one thing to recommend it. You can kill the drummer and thus obliterate the whole band.” The term is also applied to multitalented individuals in other fields.
to beat the band
Outstandingly, surpassing all others. One writer believes this term comes from the idea of making more noise than a loud band, and the OED concurs, saying it means literally to drown out the band. It originated in late-nineteenth-century Britain and soon traveled to the United States, Canada, and other English-speaking lands. “I was driving lickety-split to beat the band,” boasted C. M. Flandrau (Harvard Episodes, 1897).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer