band

(redirected from bands)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
Related to bands: Boy bands
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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.
See also: and, band, on, play

band together

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.
See also: band, together

band-aid

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.

band-aid solution

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

band-aid treatment

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."
See also: bandwagon, climb, on

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."
See also: bandwagon, get, on

one-man band

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.
See also: band

one-man show

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!
See also: show

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.
See also: band, strike, up

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.
See also: band, beat

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.
See also: band, begin, 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.
See also: band, together

one-man show

 
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.
See also: show

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.
See also: band, strike, up

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.
See also: band, beat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

one-man show

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]
See also: show

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]
See also: band, beat
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.
See also: band
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

when the band begins to play

when matters become serious.
See also: band, begin, play

to beat the band

in 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.
See also: band, beat
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

band together

v.
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.
See also: band, together
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.

one-man show

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.
See also: show

to beat the band

mod. very hard and very fast. He’s selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising.
See also: band, beat
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.
See also: band, beat
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.

band-aid approach/solution

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.
See also: approach, solution

one-man band

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.
See also: band

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).
See also: band, beat
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Fold drinks holder so six black topper bands match with six pegs.
Zhou, "Planar ultrawideband antennas with multiple notched bands based on etched slots on the patch and/or split ring resonators on the feed line," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol.
Frank played in the Marske Band from 1945-1950 also played in the Rhyll silver band in Wales and the Gainsborough Britannia Works band.
On Sunday, the group's second band, Melingriffith 2, which formed just 18 months ago, won their section to qualify as well.
As a part of the working force design update for Army bands, there may be a need to rebalance warrant officer and commissioned officer positions to provide an improved officer career progression model and to lend balance and standardization to the operational force.
After I put the controller down in the eighth grade, it was all metal, hardcore, and a lot of great Louisville bands.
Conscious Alliance works with 30 bands, including Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Weezer and Bruce Springsteen, but almost half of the food they have collected has come from the String Cheese Incident shows.
Range of heater bands from standard mica-type to low-profile keylock; and from super-high-watt-density to plastic-proof and expandable ceramic-insulated types.
Johnstone Pipe Band has been celebrating its 75th year with a series of unique events and achievements.
One of the greatest advantages the bands offer over other strength-training equipment is that they fit easily into a suitcase, allowing you to continue your workout regimen in a hotel room when you can't get to a gym.
The band plans to tour all the dzongkhags starting with the east.
The four bands selected from all the bands competing in the series to go through to the grand final will be revealed at the end of the fourth semi-final.
One leader in Cleveland, Ohio, has complained that the Scots bands have increased their numbers to stop foreign teams winning.
The festival highlights various symphonic bands from around the country and abroad.
Five bands competed in the first section of the contest held in Rochdale Town Hall recently.