tilt at windmills

(redirected from Tilting at Windmills)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

tilt at windmills

To waste time fighting enemies or trying to resolve issues that are imaginary, not as important, or impossible to overcome. The CEO seems to be tilting at windmills lately, flinging accusations at members of the press for no reason. The company keeps tilting at windmills with its insistence on implementing a service structure that serves no immediate purpose.
See also: tilt, windmill

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

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

LITERARY
If someone tilts at windmills, they waste their time on problems which do not exist or are unimportant. Of course with their petition and their campaign, they are all tilting at windmills. His critics considered him a tiresome idealist who spent an idle life tilting at windmills. Note: This expression refers to the novel `Don Quixote' (1605) by the Spanish writer Cervantes, in which Don Quixote sees some windmills, thinks that they are giants, and tries to attack them.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

attack imaginary enemies or evils.
In Cervantes' 17th-century mock-chivalric novel Don Quixote, the eponymous hero attacked windmills in the deluded belief that they were giants.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at ˈwindmills

waste your energy attacking imaginary enemies: For some reason he thinks everyone is out to get him, but he’s really just tilting at windmills.This expression comes from Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote, in which the hero thought that the windmills he saw were giants and tried to fight them.
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, to

To pursue a fruitless course or attack nonexistent enemies. This expression comes from Cervantes’s famous hero, Don Quixote, who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to attack) upon a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants (Don Quixote, Part 1, chapter 8; 1605). The image has caught the imagination of subsequent writers to the present day.
See also: tilt

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 ?
The Tilting at Windmills curriculum contains eleven modules.
"We're probably tilting at windmills," said Scott (below).
YOUR correspondent Professor Manley describes opposition to a nuclear power station as "irrational" but it is he who ends up tilting at windmills (Views of the North, August 11).
IN response to the two letters We're Tilting At Windmills (29.07.10), the reason to relocate from the Coatham Common area was a result of the Supreme Court's judgment on the Village Green status.
It might smack of Don Quixote tilting at windmills - in an unwashed Ford Rocinante - but, nevertheless, let's wish the Government well with its quest to transform burly, bluff old-white van man into a sandal-wearing eco-warrior.
Gungadu will have a bit to find with some of his rivals but Nicholls is not known for tilting at windmills and this Beneficial gelding looks to be a real improver.
The TUC are like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. They propose the slogan ``Work Your Proper Hours'', but unfortunately a slogan is all it is or can ever be.
``People say we are tilting at windmills, but he is in the Ascot Gold Cup, and that is a target.
Hills is not known for tilting at windmills and Theatre Time could be worth an interest on his first public appearance.
With the BMG labels' stable of stars taking home the lion's share of the awards, crashing the distributor's post-Grammy party at the former Quixote Studios in West Hollywood was like tilting at windmills.
Keith Dalgleish certainly ain't tilting at windmills with HURRICANE HOLLOW (3.40) in the bumper and he can run a big race after storming home at Carlisle.
"We've afforded the entry a great deal of respect as it does not strike us as tilting at windmills. We're also non-runner no-bet on the race and that has to be factored in."
In his July/August 2011 "Tilting at Windmills," Charles Peters reminds us that agency heads who seek the truth on how their agencies perform have good reason to be wary of providing ammunition to external critics.
Henry Cecil is not known for tilting at windmills and the fact he has seen fit to enter this colt for the Racing Post Trophy should be noted.
This is no easy task, but The French Furze won on his last run in handicap company at Ayr last November and he has not been disgraced when basically tilting at windmills since then.