chalk (something) up to (something)

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chalk (something) up to (something)

1. To attribute some outcome or result to some specific cause, especially one that mitigates one's own responsibility or culpability. They're a very young team, so we'll chalk this loss up to inexperience and nerves. The poor financial performance of the event is disappointing, but we're chalking it up to bad luck for now.
2. To regard some negative outcome or disappointing result as serving some ultimately useful or beneficial purpose. Used especially in the phrase "chalk something up to experience." I know you're upset about failing your exam, but just chalk it up to experience and try harder next time!
See also: chalk, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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