beat the air

(redirected from beats the air)

beat the air

To keep doing something despite its apparent pointlessness or futility. There's no way he'll get his progressive agenda through—he's just beating the air.
See also: air, beat

beat the air

Also, beat the wind. Continue to make futile attempts, fight to no purpose. For example, The candidates for office were so much alike that we thought our vote amounted to beating the air . These phrases call up a vivid image of someone flailing away at nothing. [Late 1300s]
See also: air, beat
References in classic literature ?
He proudly beats the air, conscious of his dignity, and meditates intended mischief.
It's far away enough that the thunder of their guns, sending flaming projectiles into the rocky hillside, beats the air and presses into my ear drums.
Or is he dancing around the front room to Lady Gaga, his paunch straining against his untucked shirt as he beats the air bellowing 'Pokerface'?