dam(redirected from dams)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
water under the bridge
A prior issue that is now resolved or considered resolved. That argument we had is just water under the bridge now—don't even worry about it.
(as) busy as a beaver (building a new dam)
Very busy, assiduous, or hardworking. The phrase refers to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been busy as a beaver this summer. I've been as busy as a beaver building a new dam this year. I've had almost no free time!
To block something from flowing freely, typically water in a stream, river, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dam" and "up." If we don't dam up the river, this rain will cause a flood.
dam something up
to erect a barrier in a river, stream, brook, etc. We are going to have to dam this stream up to make a pond for the cattle. Let's dam up this stream. Why is this river dammed up?
water over the damand water under the bridge
Fig. past and unchangeable events. Your quarrel with Lena is water over the dam; now you ought to concentrate on getting along with her. George and I were friends once, but that's all water under the bridge now.
water over the dam
Also, water under the bridge. Something that is over and done with, especially an unfortunate occurrence. For example, Last year's problems with delivery are water over the dam, or Never mind that old quarrel; that's water under the bridge. These metaphoric phrases allude to water that has flowed over a spillway or under a bridge and thus is gone forever. The first term was first recorded in 1797; the variant dates from the late 1800s.
water under the bridgeBRITISH, AMERICAN or
water over the damAMERICAN
If you say that a bad experience is water under the bridge, you mean that it happened a long time ago and so you do not feel upset or worried about it now. He didn't treat me very well at the time but it's all water under the bridge now. Mr Bruce said that he was relieved it was over and that he regarded his time in jail as water under the bridge. Note: You can also say things such as a lot of water has gone under the bridge to mean that a lot of time has passed or a lot of things have happened since a bad experience. It's almost two years since it happened and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. We're now on speaking terms with Marcia.
water under the bridgeused to refer to events or situations in the past that are no longer to be regarded as important or a source of concern.
The related expression there's been a lot of water under the bridge since — is used to indicate that a lot of time has passed and a great many events have occurred since a particular event. A North American variant is water over the dam .
water under the bridge
A past occurrence, especially something unfortunate, that cannot be undone or rectified: All that is now just water under the bridge.