gnat


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down to a gnat's eyebrow

In consideration of the most minute detail. I have planned this itinerary down to a gnat's eyebrow, so we are not deviating from it, even for a minute!
See also: down, eyebrow

strain at a gnat

To exaggerate or put too much focus on a minor issue and make it seem like a major one. You got one B and you're acting like you're failing the class. You're straining at a gnat, if you ask me. This is just a minor setback, so let's not strain at a gnat.
See also: gnat, strain

strain at a gnat and swallow a camel

To resist, criticize, or bemoan something minor or inconsequential while ignoring or overlooking something much more serious or important. The expression originated in the Bible, in Matthew 23:24. The government is letting the housing crisis spiral out of control while they spend millions trying to catch people who sublet their apartments without paying taxes. Talk about straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel!
See also: and, camel, gnat, strain, swallow

strain at gnats and swallow camels

To resist, criticize, or bemoan something minor or inconsequential while ignoring or overlooking something much more serious or important. The expression originated in the Bible, in Matthew 23:24. The government is letting the housing crisis spiral out of control while they spend millions trying to catch people who sublet their apartments without paying taxes. Talk about straining at gnats and swallowing camels!
See also: and, camel, gnat, strain, swallow

down to a gnat 's eyebrow

Fig. down to the smallest detail. He described what the thief was wearing down to a gnat's eyebrow. No use trying to sneak anything out of the refrigerator. Mom knows what's in there, down to a gnat's eyebrow.
See also: down, eyebrow, gnat

strain at gnats and swallow camels

Prov. to criticize other people for minor offenses while ignoring major offenses. (Biblical.) Jill: Look at that. Edward is combing his hair at his desk. How unprofessional. Jane: Don't strain at gnats and swallow camels. There are worse problems than that around here.
See also: and, camel, gnat, strain, swallow

strain at a gnat

LITERARY
If someone strains at a gnat, they concern themselves with something small and unimportant, sometimes failing to deal with something much more important. People worry over tiny differences in the fat content of food while eating huge quantities of sugar. It's a classic case of straining at a gnat. Note: You can also say that someone strains at a gnat and swallows a camel, with the same meaning. One must be wary of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Note: This expression comes from the Bible. Jesus used it when criticizing the scribes and the Pharisees for being too concerned with unimportant areas of the Jewish law. (Matthew 23:24)
See also: gnat, strain

strain at a gnat

make a difficulty about accepting something trivial. literary
The phrase derives from Matthew 23:24, ‘Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel’. The word strain here appears to mean ‘make a violent effort’, but it may in fact refer to the straining of a liquid to remove unwanted particles: the image is of a person quietly accepting a difficulty or problem of significant proportions while baulking at something comparatively trivial.
See also: gnat, strain
References in periodicals archive ?
The IAF Gnat had been switched off at the end of the runway.
The plane, a Folland Gnat - similar to ones used by the Red Arrows in the 1970s - had been taking part in an aerobatics display with another jet.
A statement from Heritage Aircraft Trust, which runs the team said: "Kevin was a Royal Air Forcetrained fast jet pilot whose enthusiasm for flying the Folland Gnat was infectious.
The Heritage Aircraft Trust, which runs the civilian display team, said: "Kevin was a Royal Air Force-trained fast jet pilot whose enthusiasm for flying the Folland Gnat was infectious.
The STRAST team is using the GNAT technology to program the control software of the satellite's on-board LEON3 processor, which is expected to reach 20,000 lines of code.
Caused by several strains of viruses, the disease is spread by biting gnats or midges of the species Culicoides uariipennis.
It is South Florida's season of brown gnats, and I hate the season
Their newest product, Gnat Nix!, is a non-toxic fungus gnat control top dressing.
The traps were removed each month and sent to the Laboratory of Forest Entomology of the Federal University of Lavras in Lavras, Minas Gerais State, Brazil where the fungus gnat adults per trap and nursery sector (CS, CV and MJC) were counted with the help of a stereoscopic microscope (40x).
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-September 29, 2011-AdaCore announces new version of GNAT Programming Studio(C)1994-2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
She has since split from Johnston, the father of her two-year-old son Tripp, and refers to him as "the gnat".
little gnat in the grimy windowpane my silence and my stillness finally
Worldwide Computer Products News-13 October 2009-AdaCore introduces new version of GNAT Programming Studio(C)1995-2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
The Kevin Commins-owned Ferdia Bound only failed by half a length to catch Group Skater last time, but he has also drawn a difficult opening heat where Hello Hippy, Droopys Moira and Black Gnat could turn this into a real thriller.
Sharpley: Black Gnat, Foam Beetle, Daddies, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Spent Olive, Olive/Black F Fly, Bloodworm, Orange/Pink Blob.