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

hold water

(of a statement, theory, or line of reasoning) appear to be valid, sound, or reasonable.
See also: hold, water

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

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

hold water

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

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