not hold water

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not hold water

To not be or not appear to be true, verifiable, or able to be supported by facts. The image is of a container with holes in it—a metaphor for a position or argument containing "holes" (errors or gaps in reasoning). I'm afraid that excuse just doesn't hold water with me—you still should have had plenty of time to complete the assignment and print it. That old claim has been debunked so many time that it just does not hold water any more.
See also: hold, not, water
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not hold water

 
1. Lit. [of a container] not able to contain water without leaking. This old wading pool won't hold water any longer.
2. Fig. not able to be proved; not correct or true. Jack's story won't hold water. It sounds too unlikely. The police's theory will not hold water. The suspect has an ironclad alibi.
See also: hold, not, water

won't hold water

to be inadequate, insubstantial, or ill-conceived. Sorry, your ideas won't hold water. Nice try, though. The prosecution's case wouldn't hold water, so the defendant was released.
See also: hold, water
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not hold water

COMMON If a theory or an argument does not hold water, you can prove that it is wrong. That explanation does not hold water, according to senior intelligence sources. It doesn't really matter that not all of the film's arguments hold water. Note: You can also say that a theory or an argument holds water, meaning that it is true or right. If these arguments hold water, then we may have to rethink our policy.
See also: hold, not, water
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
That explanation didn't hold water for protesters outside Muilenburg's speech, including relatives of those who died in the crashes.
He identified me as one of those involved in the atrocity but upon cross examination, his evidence didn't hold water. His witness was highly faulty and as such I was allowed to go.
But the explanation didn't hold water with District Judge Kristina Harrison, who said: "Does he seriously expect me to believe that cocaine isn't illegal in his country?
This didn't hold water him and he stated again how it was against his faith.was a bit of a brick wall, have to say and I was disappointed.
The IPL franchises and the BCCI had promised to donate to drought relief measures, but that argument didn't hold water as far as the court was concerned.
In other words, the IAEA was saying that Iran's explanation of the non-nuclear purpose of its work on exploding bridgewire detonators didn't hold water, effectively accusing the Islamic Republic of lying.
Cutting his visit short because of problems he could have easily solved was just BS and didn't hold water. He could have swum back to Canada if he wanted to, just to spend more time with you.
Harris told the court he accused Ms Lee of making up the allegation because her story "didn't hold water".
The BJP's Amritsar candidate that the security threat argument didn't hold water as "top political leaders are allowed to hold rallies in troubled areas like Jammu and Kashmir and Maoist strongholds".
"We soon realized that a) we had too much story to tell, and b) the episode-to-issue comparison didn't hold water. The volume of story is different, the way a monthly issue versus a weekly episode works on the audience is totally different."
But their excuses didn't hold water then, and certainly don't hold water now.
After a frightening 45 years on the cobblestones the idea that stalwart actor Bill Roache was really sailing into the sunset simply didn't hold water.
The reasons they gave didn't hold water. It's an aspirational document.
But last week, acknowledging that the case didn't hold water, the military dropped the most serious charges and waived jail time beyond the 295 days Al Halabi had already served.
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