hold water, to

hold water

Stand up to critical examination, be sound and valid, as in This argument just won't hold water, or Her reasons for quitting don't hold water. This metaphoric expression alludes to a container that can hold water without leaking. [c. 1600]
See also: hold, water
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hold water

(of a statement, theory, or line of reasoning) appear to be valid, sound, or reasonable.
See also: hold, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold ˈwater

(informal) (of a theory, etc.) remain true even when examined closely: Your argument just doesn’t hold water.
If a container holds water, no water escapes.
See also: hold, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold water

tv. [for an idea, plan, etc.] to survive evaluation or scrutiny. Nothing you’ve said so far holds water.
See also: hold, water
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hold water

To stand up to critical examination: Your explanation doesn't hold water.
See also: hold, 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.

hold water, to

To bear close inspection; to be valid. This expression, used since about 1600, refers to the soundness of a container that holds water without leaking. “Let them produce a more rational account . . . that will hold water,” wrote John French (The Yorkshire Spaw, 1626).
See also: hold
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also: