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

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

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
References in classic literature ?
Don't shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman, but understand what is going on, and educate yourself to take your part in the world's work, for it all affects you and yours.
You ought to educate your slaves, and treat them like reasonable creatures,--like immortal creatures, that you've got to stand before the bar of God with.
I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow countrymen now.
However, I made a note of the remark, and calculated to educate the commonwealth up to it if I pulled through.
Though I made no further observation of her at the moment, I may mention here what I did not discover until afterwards, namely, that she was one of a series of protegees whom my aunt had taken into her service expressly to educate in a renouncement of mankind, and who had generally completed their abjuration by marrying the baker.
We must educate them out of that, and, meanwhile, push forward the international association of laborers diligently.
They had to educate Bell's Genie of the Wire so that he would not only obey his masters, but anybody--anybody who could speak to him in any language.
And further I should say that you are deserting your own children; for you might bring them up and educate them; instead of which you go away and leave them, and they will have to take their chance; and if they do not meet with the usual fate of orphans, there will be small thanks to you.
Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention, direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.
Yes, yes," repeated Villefort, as he approached his home -- "yes, that woman must live; she must repent, and educate my son, the sole survivor, with the exception of the indestructible old man, of the wreck of my house.
NOTWITHSTANDING the plenteous gifts which Providence had bestowed on the parents of Maria in the way of descendants, Fortune had sufficiently smiled on his labours to enable him to educate them in what is called a genteel manner, and to support them in a corresponding style.
I held him in great awe, and appeared more timid and sensitive in his presence than at other times; a circumstance which, perhaps, helped to confirm him in the intention to educate me on a different plan from the prescriptive one with which he had complied in the case of my elder brother, already a tall youth at Eton.
How, covered by this confusion, Sacharissa educated certain young bees to educate certain new-born bees in the almost lost art of making Royal Jelly.
How the Divil - yes, he's the man I mean -can a street-beggar raise money to educate white boys?
I have lived on workman's wages, years and years, and beyond a certain point have had to educate myself.
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