hold water, to

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hold water

To be or appear to be true, verifiable, or able to be supported by facts. The image is of a vessel that does not have "holes" in it (errors or gaps in reasoning) and thus will not leak water. Most commonly used in negative constructions. They want to investigate your claim to see if it holds water. I'm afraid that excuse just doesn't hold water with me—you still should have had plenty of time to complete the assignment and print it.
See also: hold, water
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hold water

Stand up to critical examination, be sound and valid, as in This argument just won't hold water, or Her reasons for quitting don't hold water. This metaphoric expression alludes to a container that can hold water without leaking. [c. 1600]
See also: hold, water
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.

hold water

(of a statement, theory, or line of reasoning) appear to be valid, sound, or reasonable.
See also: hold, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold ˈwater

(informal) (of a theory, etc.) remain true even when examined closely: Your argument just doesn’t hold water.
If a container holds water, no water escapes.
See also: hold, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold water

tv. [for an idea, plan, etc.] to survive evaluation or scrutiny. Nothing you’ve said so far holds water.
See also: hold, water
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hold water

To stand up to critical examination: Your explanation doesn't hold water.
See also: hold, water
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.

hold water, to

To bear close inspection; to be valid. This expression, used since about 1600, refers to the soundness of a container that holds water without leaking. “Let them produce a more rational account . . . that will hold water,” wrote John French (The Yorkshire Spaw, 1626).
See also: hold, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Issues like safety, strength of the walls to determine if they are strong enough to hold water and ensuring that it is not easy for people or animals to access them should also be captured in the EIA,' he added.
Natural schemes have been suggested, such as "rewilding" the uplands, planting trees, blocking drains, removing sheep and even reintroducing beavers to build dams, to hold water higher up and prevent floods on lower ground.
For example, you could add clay to hold water if you live in a hot climate or sand to increase drainage if you get a lot of precipitation.
They like fertile, well-drained soil and won't survive the winter in waterlogged conditions, so make sure you dig in plenty of garden compost before planting to improve the soil's ability to hold water without waterlogging.
Raise a circular dam around the planted plant to hold water.
The work at Powburn, which started in February, has included creating storage ponds to hold water during heavy rainfall, building flood banks and changes to roads and bridges to divert flood water away from properties.
It is impossible to hold water distribution talks being unaware how much water would come from Toktogul," acting chief of Southern Water Department Sembai Seisenov told Kazakhstan Today.
The lake is important in being able to hold water in times of heavy rain and preventing flooding further downstream on Marton West Beck.
It is the space in a vessel that enables it to hold water, just as it is the space within our heart that allows spirit to enter.
If [the pot is] to hold water, then you need one that has been high-fired--the higher the temperature of the kiln, the more sealed the clay.
More than 90 per cent of Haiti's trees have been chopped down, leaving nothing to hold water back from low-lying towns.
Applying compost to your garden adds helpful nutrients to the soil, guards against diseases and pests, can enhance soil's ability to hold water and air and may even extend plants' growing season.
The STS now features VAPOR-[LOGIC.sub.3][R] control, which adds many new capabilities, including: PID control, allowing accurate, responsive, and adjustable RH control; a temperature sensor that enables the controller to hold water at a preset temperature, allowing a rapid response to a call for humidity; data reports to monitor humidifier performance; easy-to-navigate, intuitive menus; easy-to-read backlit display; and a real-time clock that allows time-stamped alarm tracking and the ability to program draining at preset times.
The STS Steam-to-Steam Humidifier with Vapor-Logic control has a temperature sensor to hold water at a preset temperature, data reports, backlit display, and real-time clock that allows time-stamped alarm tracking and the ability to program draining for preset times.
This pretreatment increased the fibers ability to hold water and caused severe internal delamination of fiber walls, with little effect on fiber length.