roast snow in a furnace

(redirected from furnace)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to furnace: electric furnace, Muffle furnace

roast snow in a furnace

To attempt a futile, often ridiculous, task. You're so tiny that there's no way you can carry that armchair upstairs all by yourself—you might as well roast snow in a furnace!
See also: roast, snow
References in classic literature ?
He omitted no point of detail; he conducted them throughout the magazines, workshops, through the midst of the engines, and compelled them to visit the whole 1,200 furnaces one after the other.
Though I was a mere child, my stepfather put me and my brother at work in one of the furnaces.
I know little of the country,' he said, shaking his head, 'for such as I, pass all our lives before our furnace doors, and seldom go forth to breathe.
And thus they separated; the child to lead her sacred charge farther from guilt and shame; the labourer to attach a fresh interest to the spot where his guests had slept, and read new histories in his furnace fire.
In a large and lofty building, supported by pillars of iron, with great black apertures in the upper walls, open to the external air; echoing to the roof with the beating of hammers and roar of furnaces, mingled with the hissing of red-hot metal plunged in water, and a hundred strange unearthly noises never heard elsewhere; in this gloomy place, moving like demons among the flame and smoke, dimly and fitfully seen, flushed and tormented by the burning fires, and wielding great weapons, a faulty blow from any one of which must have crushed some workman's skull, a number of men laboured like giants.
They went through the blast furnaces, through rolling mills where bars of steel were tossed about and chopped like bits of cheese.
She could hear his voice in the distant furnace room giving directions to Aminadab, whose harsh, uncouth, misshapen tones were audible in response, more like the grunt or growl of a brute than human speech.
The first thing that struck her eye was the furnace, that hot and feverish worker, with the intense glow of its fire, which by the quantities of soot clustered above it seemed to have been burning for ages.
He was pale as death, anxious and absorbed, and hung over the furnace as if it depended upon his utmost watchfulness whether the liquid which it was distilling should be the draught of immortal happiness or misery.
Yet I hold that the true art of my craft lies as much in the furnace as in the brush.
Take all that you have asked,'' said he, ``Sir Knight take ten times more reduce me to ruin and to beggary, if thou wilt, nay, pierce me with thy poniard, broil me on that furnace, but spare my daughter, deliver her in safety and honour
This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace.
We shall do it," replied the Scarecrow, "although it requires a lot of courage for me to go near to the furnaces of the Nome King.
The furnaces may also melt my tin," said the Tin Woodman; "but I am going.
You must remember that, since we started, we have kept up hot fires in all our furnaces, and, though we had coal enough to go on short steam from New York to Bordeaux, we haven't enough to go with all steam from New York to Liverpool.