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the emperor's new clothes
Something widely accepted as true or professed as being praiseworthy due to an unwillingness of the general population to criticize it or be seen as going against popular opinion. Taken from the Hans Christian Andersen fable of the same name, in which a vain king is sold imaginary clothing (i.e. really nothing at all) by two weavers who promise him that it is visible only to the wise, and cannot be seen by those who are ignorant, incompetent, or unfit for their position. The company's newest device is, in fact, a complete waste of money, but so many people are invested in their brand loyalty that they will continue to buy and adore it like the emperor's new clothes.
clothes don't make the man
You cannot judge a man's character based on his clothing and appearance. A: "I can't believe John embezzled all that money. I always thought he seemed so professional." B: "Well you know what they say— the clothes don't make the man." I really need to get some better work clothes, but I just don't have the money right now. At least the clothes don't make the man!
1. The pieces of cloth that infants were once wrapped in, so as to limit their movement. The phrase is perhaps most commonly associated with the story of Jesus' birth: "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes." Mama wrapped your babe in swaddling clothes and took him to the wet nurse so you could rest.
2. Strict limitations imposed upon the young and immature. Teenagers need swaddling clothes too, in the form of curfews and chores.
3. A period at the start of something. It can refer to a person's youth or to the early stages of an idea or project. In my mind, my son is still in his swaddling clothes—I can't believe he's about to start middle school. This idea is still in its swaddling clothes, so it might sound a little rough right now.
clothe (someone/oneself) in (something)
To dress someone or oneself in something She clothes her newborn in the cutest outfits. I clothed myself in a beautiful gown for the gala.
See also: clothe
clothes make the man
You can judge a man's character based on his clothing and appearance. I'm not surprised John was fired for cause—he never dressed professionally, and the clothes make the man. You really need to get some better work clothes before starting this new job. The clothes make the man, you know
steal (someone's) clothes
To advance or appropriate someone else's ideas, policies, or agendas as one's own. Many believe the challenger is really trying to steal the incumbent's clothes and beat him at his own game.
put (something) in mothballs
1. Literally, to put cloths into storage, as in a closet or attic, often packed with mothballs to keep moths from eating the material. I'm so glad that I can finally get my summer clothes out and put my winter clothes back in mothballs. I'm putting my maternity clothes in mothballs, because we might try to have another baby in a few years.
2. To store something, especially a vehicle of some kind, in reserve for future use. We put the plane in mothballs while we wait for a new shipment of parts. The famed warship has been put in mothballs after over 40 years of navy service.
3. To put something on hold; to defer, delay, or postpone something until a future. I did like your idea, Tom, but we have to put it in mothballs for now while we finish our other projects. The city council has put the refurbishment project in mothballs due to a budgetary conflict.
put (something) in order
1. To clean or tidy something. Help me put the house in order before mom and dad get back! I have to put my classroom in order before the students return to school next week.
2. To put something into the proper sequence. This order is sometimes specified with a modifier. I've spent all morning putting all these books in order, so don't go messing them up! Students, please line up in alphabetical order.
3. To arrange or resolve something so that it is in the most proper, efficient state possible. They brought in a consultant to help put the project in order. I'm trying to put my affairs in order before the illness gets too debilitating.
put (something) into words
To express a thought or idea through written or especially spoken words. I find that I can put my ideas into words much better when I write them down, rather than trying to explain them to someone out loud. He struggled to put his feelings for Jane into words.
put (something) on the block
To put something up for sale, especially at an auction. After years of collecting, she had to put all her records on the block to cover the cost of her husband's debt.
(one's) Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes
One's very best clothes, as one might wear to a Sunday church service. Instead of some big party, let's all get dressed up in our Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and go for lunch at a fancy restaurant for my birthday! This is going to be a formal event, so please come dressed in your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. The only time we got dressed up in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and went to mass was for Christmas and Easter.
One who is very interest in their appearance, clothing, and fashion. Of course he wore an ascot to the barbeque—he's a real clotheshorse.
without a stitch of clothes (on)
Completely nude; having no articles of clothing on whatsoever. As I walked into the kitchen, I saw my roommate by the counter without a stitch of clothes on. I nearly dropped my mug of tea out of shock! The group of ten or so students streaked onto the field without a stitch of clothes between them.
with not a stitch of clothes (on)
Totally nude; not wearing any clothing whatsoever. As I walked into the kitchen, I saw my roommate by the counter with not a stitch of clothes on. I nearly dropped my mug of tea! The group of ten or so students streaked onto the field with not a stitch of clothes between them.
not have a stitch of clothes (one)
To be totally nude; to not have any clothing on whatsoever. My roommate didn't have a stitch of clothes on as I walked into the kitchen. I nearly dropped my mug of tea! The group of ten or so students didn't have a stitch of clothes between them as they streaked onto the field during the halftime performance.
put (something) into order
1. To clean or tidy something. Help me put the house into order before mom and dad get back! I have to put my classroom into order before the students return to school next week.
2. To put something into the proper sequence. This order is sometimes specified with a modifier. I've spent all morning putting all these books into order, so don't go messing them up! Students, please line up in alphabetical order.
3. To arrange or resolve something so that it is in the most proper, efficient state possible. They brought in a consultant to help put the project into order. I'm trying to put my affairs into order before the illness gets too debilitating.
Clothes make the man.
Prov. People will judge you according to the way you dress. Jim was always careful about how he dressed. He believed that clothes make the man.
not have a stitch of clothes (on)
Fig. naked. He walked through the house and didn't have a stitch of clothes on.
Rur. one's best clothes. (See also Sunday best.) John was all dressed up in his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. I hate to be wearing my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes when everyone else is casually dressed.
clothes make the man
People say clothes make the man to mean that dressing well helps people to be successful. The lawyer was wearing a stylish blue suit. Clothes make the man, Wade thought.
steal someone's clothesBRITISH, JOURNALISM
If a politician or political party steals another's clothes, they take their ideas or policies and pretend that these are their own. Instead, Labour has been allowed to steal the Conservatives' clothes by promising to involve the private-health sector. It would be stealing their political clothes — and few politicians can resist this opportunity.
steal someone's clothesappropriate someone's ideas or policies. British informal
the ˌemperor’s new ˈclothes,
the ˌemperor has no ˈclothesused to describe a situation in which everybody suddenly realises that they were mistaken in believing that somebody/something was very good, important, etc: Soon, investors will realize that the emperor has no clothes and there will be a big sell-off in stocks.This comes from a story by Hans Christian Andersen. Two men offer to make an emperor a new suit from a very light material which they say stupid people cannot see. When the emperor puts on the suit, nobody wants to appear stupid so they all praise his new clothes. However, when a little boy asks why the emperor has no clothes on, everybody admits that they can see no clothes and that the emperor is naked.
n. someone who is obsessed with clothing and looking good in it. Her brother is the real clotheshorse.
clothes make the man
Outer appearances are very important. The thought appears in ancient Babylonian writings, and Erasmus’s collection of adages (1523) refers to the fact that the statement “Clothes are the man” appeared in Homer and numerous ancient Latin sources. In sixteenth-century England it was usually put as “apparel” rather than “clothes”; Shakespeare’s Polonius pontificates, “The apparel oft proclaims the man” (Hamlet, 1.3). It was a cliché by the nineteenth century.
Best finery. Churchgoers never wore their everyday clothing to worship service. Instead, they wore their Sunday best, their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.