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Related to milling: milling machine, milling around

pill mill

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.
See also: mill, pill

rumor mill

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.
See also: mill, rumor

rumour 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.
See also: mill, rumour

(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!
See also: could, lumber, mill, sawdust, sell

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!"
See also: grist, mill

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!"
See also: grist, mill

put (one) through the mill

To abuse someone 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.
See also: mill, put, through

go through the mill

To be abused or treated very harshly; to 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.
See also: mill, through

grist to the mill

Useful in a particular situation. If my detractors hear about this blunder, it will just be grist to the mill.
See also: grist, mill

run-of-the-mill

Mediocre; common or standard; average. 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.

grist for the mill

 and 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.
See also: grist, mill

mill around

 and 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.
See also: around, mill

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.
See also: cannot, grind, mill, past, that, water

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.
See also: god, grind, mill, of, small, yet

run-of-the-mill

common or average; typical. The restaurant we went to was nothing specialjust 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.
See also: mill, through

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.
See also: tilt, windmill

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]
See also: grist, mill

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."
See also: god, grind, mill, of, slowly

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]
See also: mill, of, run

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]
See also: mill, through

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.
See also: tilt, windmill

grist for the mill

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

grist to the mill

BRITISH
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.
See also: grist, mill

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.
See also: mill, through

run-of-the-mill

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 windmills

LITERARY
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.
See also: tilt, windmill

grist to the mill

experience, 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’.
See also: grist, mill

go (or put someone) through the mill

undergo (or cause someone to undergo) an unpleasant experience.
See also: mill, through

run of the mill

the 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.
See also: mill, of, run

tilt at windmills

attack 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.
See also: tilt, windmill

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.
See also: grist, mill

go through/put somebody through the ˈmill

experience, 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.
See also: mill, put, somebody, through

ˌrun-of-the-ˈmill

(often disapproving) ordinary, with no special or interesting features: a run-of-the-mill job

tilt at ˈwindmills

waste 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.
See also: tilt, windmill

fill-mill

n. a tavern. She stopped off at the fill-mill again this evening.

gin mill

and 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!
See also: gin, mill

milled

mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also cut.) She was cut up with all that booze—milled, I guess.
See also: mill

run-of-the-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.
See also: mill, through

tilt at windmills

To confront and engage in conflict with an imagined opponent or threat.
See also: tilt, windmill

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.
See also: tilt, windmill
References in periodicals archive ?
Milling said the level of training and competition over the summer improved her passing and defense.
3, Milling became the seventh player in school history to collect 30-plus kills in a single match.
Reflecting on her senior year performance thus far, Milling said her game this year is truly, finally restored.
The startup of the Blackfoot Mill and its subsequent volume scale up also depressed income for the milling division.
The compact milling operations in Portland and Modesto also showed operating losses for first half 1999.
So, we began discussions with Fisher Mills about the milling facility and have now reached this agreement.
operates subsidiaries in television and radio broadcasting, flour milling and food distribution for the bakery, mix, and food service industries, and proprietary real estate development.
Department of Energy Ames Laboratory, located at Iowa State University, has been exploring one possible avenue toward replacing solvents in some applications: mechanochemistry, or the chemical conversion of solids through mechanical processes (usually milling or grinding) rather than by using solvents.