keep nose to the grindstone
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to keep nose to the grindstone: keep one's nose clean
keep (one's) nose to the grindstone
To work hard and/or diligently on something. I'm so impressed by your grades, honey—you really kept your nose to the grindstone this year, and it paid off! I've got to keep my nose to the grindstone if I'm going to get this promotion.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
keep one's nose to the grindstone
Fig. to work hard and constantly. Son: I'll never get good grades. I might as well not even study. Mother: Don't give up yet. I'm sure that if you just keep your nose to the grindstone, you'll get the results you want. Mary kept her nose to the grindstone while her friends were out enjoying themselves.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
nose to the grindstone, have/keep one's
To work hard all the time. The image, transferred from tools that must continuously be sharpened, is a vivid one and has been used since the sixteenth century. “This Text holdeth their noses to hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces,” wrote John Faith (A Mirrour to Knowe Thyselfe, 1539).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer