Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A pain management clinic that inappropriately, irresponsibly, or illegally dispenses pain medications, especially to those without a prescription or in very large quantities. Three suspected pill mills were shut down by federal authorities today after investigators discovered a paper trail of fraudulent prescriptions written by doctors from overseas.
The source from, or process by, which rumors are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in US. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumor mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no layoffs this year. One of the downsides of having a celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumor mill.
The source from or process by which rumours are generated, spread, and perpetuated among a group of people. Primarily heard in UK. Listen, Barry, you can't believe everything that comes out of the rumour mill. I can guarantee you that there will be no redundancies this year. One of the downsides of gaining celebrity status is having every aspect of your life subjected to the Hollywood rumour mill.
(someone) could sell sawdust to a lumber mill
Someone is an extremely smooth, charming, or persuasive salesperson, such that they could sell something to those who have no need or use for it. I can't believe you were able to sell an extra 200 units to the hospital. You could sell sawdust to a lumber mill!
grist for (one's) mill
Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist for my mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
grist to (one's) mill
Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist to my mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
put (one) through the mill
To abuse one or treat them very harshly; to make someone suffer intense anguish, stress, or grief. People in my high school put me through the mill as a kid. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The coach was renowned for putting his players through the mill in order to make them the toughest in the state.
go through the mill
To be abused or treated very harshly; to suffer intense anguish, stress, or grief. I went through the mill as a kid in high school. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The coach was renowned for his strict practice regimen, and his players went through the mill to become the toughest in the state.
grist to the mill
A useful resource in a particular situation. If my detractors hear about this blunder, it will just be grist to the mill.
Common, standard, or average; mediocre. It was a run-of-the-mill action movie—fine to kill a couple hours, but nothing special. I must say, for how many interesting points you bring up in class, your paper is rather run-of-the-mill.
tilt at windmills
To waste time fighting enemies or trying to resolve issues that are imaginary, not as important, or impossible to overcome. The CEO seems to be tilting at windmills lately, flinging accusations at members of the press for no reason. The company keeps tilting at windmills with its insistence on implementing a service structure that serves no immediate purpose.
grist for the mill
Something that initially seems bad or negative but is ultimately used in a positive way by someone. A: "The tabloids found out that you've been in rehab. How do you plan on handling it?" B: "It's just grist for the mill—I'm a changed man now, and that's what I'll tell the media. At least they're writing about me again!"
mills of the gods grind slowly(, but they grind exceedingly fine)
Destiny will deliver an outcome that is correct, just, and inevitable, though it may take a long time to come to be. It was a disheartening verdict, to be sure, but we aren't losing hope for a successful outcome eventually. The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. Mills of the gods grind slowly, and we've been making slow but steady progress in this country over the last three decades, but it seems lately that those mills have sputtered to a halt.
through the mill
Through rough, abusive treatment or an intense amount of anguish, stress, or grief. The coach was renowned for putting his players through the mill in order to make them the toughest in the state. Between getting fired from his job, losing his mother to cancer, and having his house repossessed by the bank, poor Jonathan's really been through the mill lately.
grist for the milland grist for someone's mill; grist to the mill
Fig. something useful or needed. Bob bases the novels he writes on his own experience, so everything that happens to him is grist for the mill. Ever since I started making patchwork quilts, every scrap of cloth I find is grist for the mill.
mill aroundand mill about
to wander or move around aimlessly within a small area. Everyone was milling around, looking for something to do. The students milled about between classes.
mill cannot grind with water that is past
Prov. Do not waste the opportunities you now have.; Do not waste time wishing for what you had in the past. If you want to go abroad, do it now, while you're young and have the money. The mill cannot grind with water that is past.
mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small
Prov. It may take a long time, but evil will always be punished. Jill: It really doesn't seem right that Fred can be so horrible and dishonest, but he always gets everything he wants. Jane: Be patient. The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.
common or average; typical. The restaurant we went to was nothing special—just run-of-the mill. The service was good, but the food was run-of-the-mill or worse.
*through the mill
Fig. badly treated; abused and exhausted. (Fig. on a grain mill. *Typically: be ~; go ~; put someone ~; send someone ~.) This has been a rough day. I've really been through the mill. This old car is banged up, and it hardly runs. We really put it through the mill.
tilt at windmills
Fig. to fight battles with imaginary enemies; to fight against unimportant enemies or issues. (As with the fictional character, Don Quixote, who attacked windmills.) Aren't you too smart to go around tilting at windmills? I'm not going to fight this issue. I've wasted too much of my life tilting at windmills.
grist for the mill
Something that can be used to advantage, as in These seemingly useless data will be grist for the mill when he lodges a complaint. This expression alludes to grist, the amount of grain that can be ground at one time. [Late 1500s]
mills of the gods grind slowly
One's destiny is inevitable even if it takes considerable time to arrive. For example, I'm sure he'll be wealthy one day, though the mills of the gods grind slowly. This expression comes from ancient Greek, translated as "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small." In English it appeared in George Herbert's Jacula Prudentum (1640) as "God's mill grinds slow but sure."
run of the mill
Ordinary, average, as in There's nothing special about these singers-they're just run of the mill. This expression alludes to fabrics coming directly from a mill without having been sorted or inspected for quality. It has survived such similar phrases as run of the mine and run of the kiln, for the products of mines and kilns. [Late 1800s]
through the mill
Hardship or rough treatment, as in They put him through the mill, making him work at every one of the machines, or Jane was exhausted; she felt she'd been through the mill. This term alludes to being ground down like grain in a mill. [Late 1800s]
tilt at windmills
Engage in conflict with an imagined opponent, pursue a vain goal, as in Trying to reform campaign financing in this legislature is tilting at windmills. This metaphoric expression alludes to the hero of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605), who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to strike) against a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants.
grist for the millBRITISH, AMERICAN or
grist to the millBRITISH
COMMON If something is grist for the mill or grist to the mill, you can use it in a particular situation to help you to do something. Celebrity gossip is, of course, grist for the mill as far as the tabloids are concerned. You are, of course, much better at writing songs when you are completely miserable — it gives you so much more grist for the mill. Note: `Grist' was grain that was brought to a windmill or watermill to be ground. Millers needed regular supplies of grain to keep their businesses in operation.
go through the mill
If you go through the mill, you experience a very difficult period in your life with many problems. She's been through the mill these last few years — the collapse of her marriage and her career and a serious illness on top of that. It's been an incredibly tough tour and we have all been through the mill. Note: You can also say that something or someone puts someone through the mill. Following the England side over the years, I have been put through the mill emotionally. Note: The reference here is to grain passing through a mill and being made into flour.
COMMON You use run-of-the-mill to describe something or someone that is ordinary and not at all exciting. It was just run-of-the-mill TV movie stuff. The food was fairly run-of-the-mill. I was just a very average, run-of-the-mill kind of student. Note: This expression may be using the image of a watermill making the same movements continuously and regularly so long as the flow of water stays the same. Another suggestion is that it comes from the use of `run-of-the-mill' in the United States as a term for timber which has been sawn at a sawmill but has not yet been graded.
tilt at windmillsLITERARY
If someone tilts at windmills, they waste their time on problems which do not exist or are unimportant. Of course with their petition and their campaign, they are all tilting at windmills. His critics considered him a tiresome idealist who spent an idle life tilting at windmills. Note: This expression refers to the novel `Don Quixote' (1605) by the Spanish writer Cervantes, in which Don Quixote sees some windmills, thinks that they are giants, and tries to attack them.
grist to the millexperience, material, or knowledge which can be turned to good use.
Grist in the sense of ‘corn that is to be ground’ is now used only in this phrase and in the proverb all is grist that comes to the mill . The word is related to Old Saxon gristgrimmo meaning ‘gnashing of teeth’.
go (or put someone) through the millundergo (or cause someone to undergo) an unpleasant experience.
run of the millthe ordinary or undistinguished type.
In this expression, the run is literally the material produced from a mill before it has been sorted or inspected for quality.
tilt at windmillsattack imaginary enemies or evils.
In Cervantes' 17th-century mock-chivalric novel Don Quixote, the eponymous hero attacked windmills in the deluded belief that they were giants.
grist for/to somebody’s ˈmill(of an experience, a piece of information, etc.) useful to somebody: As a novelist, I feel that any experience, good or bad, is grist to my mill.
Grist is corn that is is ready to be crushed in a mill in order to make flour.
go through/put somebody through the ˈmillexperience, or make somebody experience, something difficult or painful: It was a very difficult interview. They really put me through the mill. ♢ She’s been through the mill this year. First she lost her job and then her house was burgled.
A mill is a machine for crushing or grinding a solid substance into powder.
ˌrun-of-the-ˈmill(often disapproving) ordinary, with no special or interesting features: a run-of-the-mill job
tilt at ˈwindmillswaste your energy attacking imaginary enemies: For some reason he thinks everyone is out to get him, but he’s really just tilting at windmills.This expression comes from Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote, in which the hero thought that the windmills he saw were giants and tried to fight them.
n. a tavern. She stopped off at the fill-mill again this evening.
gin milland gin dive and gin palace
n. a saloon; a low liquor establishment. (Older.) Fred hit every gin mill on the way home. The joint looks like a gin dive. I’m not going in there!
mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also cut.) She was cut up with all that booze—milled, I guess.
See also: mill
mod. average; typical. (Referring to the typical quality of a product that comes out of a mill.) This stuff is just run-of-the-mill.
through the mill
mod. abused; well-worn. That was some convention. I’ve really been through the mill.
tilt at windmills
To confront and engage in conflict with an imagined opponent or threat.
tilt at windmills
Fight imaginary enemies or fight a battle that can't be won. “Tilt” means “joust,” as in mounted knights fighting each other with lances. In Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha came upon a row of windmills and took them for giants, their flailing arms ready to do battle. Despite his squire Sancho Panza's pointing out that they were windmills, Don Quote set his lance, spurred his steed Rocinante, and charged the “enemy.” Alas for the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, the windmills prevailed. Anyone who similarly takes on a losing cause is tilting at windmills.