throw the baby out with the bathwater

(redirected from have thrown the baby out with the bathwater)

throw the baby out with the bathwater

To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something considered worthless, especially an outdated idea or form of behavior. The phrase is often used in the negative as a warning against such thoughtless behavior. Why are we scrapping the entire project? Come on, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The main reforms of the movement were desperately needed, but I'm afraid we threw the baby out with the bathwater in many cases.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw the baby out with the bath water

If someone throws the baby out with the bath water, they reject an idea completely, even though some parts of it are good. Even if we don't necessarily like the whole scheme, we're not going to throw the baby out with the bath water. In rejecting traditional values, they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

throw the baby out with the bathwater

discard something valuable along with other things that are inessential or undesirable.
This phrase is based on a German saying recorded from the early 16th century but not introduced into English until the mid 19th century, by Thomas Carlyle . He identified it as German and gave it in the form, ‘You must empty out the bathing-tub, but not the baby along with it.’
1998 New Scientist It is easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to UFO books—there are some seriously bad titles out there.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

throw the ˌbaby out with the ˈbathwater

(informal) lose something that you want at the same time as you are trying to get rid of something that you do not want: It’s stupid to say that the old system of management was all bad; there were some good things about it. The baby was thrown out with the bathwater.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

throw the baby out with the bath water

Slang
To discard something valuable along with something not desired, usually unintentionally.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

throw out the baby with the bathwater, to/don't

To discard the good along with the bad. The source of this expression may be a German proverb, Das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten (Pouring the baby out with the bath), and its vivid image of upending a small tub clearly caught on. It appeared in English in 1853, possibly as a translation from the German by Thomas Carlyle, and was favored by George Bernard Shaw, who used it in several books, including Parents and Children (1914): “We are apt to make the usual blunder of emptying the baby out with the bath.”
See also: baby, out, throw, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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