not wash

not wash

To not be accepted or believed. That kind of excuse may have worked in high school, but it doesn't wash with me. The deadline for the paper is tomorrow, no extensions. He may be able to skirt the issue in some regions, but that approach won't wash in these parts—these people want straight answers.
See also: not, wash
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

It won't wash!

Fig. Nobody will believe it! Sorry, it won't wash. Try another approach. Don't expect me to believe that! It won't wash.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

won't wash

Will not stand up to examination, is unconvincing, will not work, as in That excuse about your sick aunt just won't wash. This expression originally alluded to a fabric that would not stand up to washing but by the late 1800s was used figuratively for other kinds of failure.
See also: wash
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.

something won't wash

If an explanation or idea won't wash, it will not be believed or accepted. Mr Aitken might try some such explanation if and when he returns. It won't wash. It won't wash to claim that what we eat is purely a matter of personal responsibility.
See also: something, wash
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

won't wash

will not be believed or accepted. informal
1998 New Scientist In the end, however, this argument won't wash.
See also: wash
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

something won’t/doesn’t ˈwash (with somebody)

used to say that somebody’s explanation, excuse, etc. is not valid or that you/somebody else will not accept it: That excuse simply won’t wash with me.
See also: something, wash
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
It has fifty millions of inhabitants, and as the colour of the Filthy Pool does not wash off, they all look exactly alike."
Her eyes (equally well preserved) were of that hard light blue color which wears well, and does not wash out when tried by the test of tears.
"Valdez throw away yellow silk, and I take for my arrows so rain not wash off poison.
"Why not wash? That is not cleanly," said Prince Andrew; "on the contrary one must try to make one's life as pleasant as possible.
May I not wash in them and be clean?" But some of my readers have forgotten who Naaman was, long ago.
"Not wash? Oh, I'm afraid you are a very badly brought-up little girl--oh, leave me alone--I must run--"
He had his shroud on, and all about him smelt of the sepulchre A butt of sack will not wash it out of my memory.''
But no matter now, for after all a wetting will not wash the skin away, and what must be, must.
Hale could not wash his hands of the blood with which they were dyed.
Remember, the stuff does not wash away.' She shook with laughter till her bracelets and anklets jingled.
Achilles is not quite invulnerable; the sacred waters did not wash the heel by which Thetis held him.
It appeared afterwards that the duke had sworn that if they had not washed him as they had Don Quixote he would have punished them for their impudence, which they adroitly atoned for by soaping him as well.
A few strange faces in the streets; a few other faces, half strange and half familiar, once the faces of Cloisterham children, now the faces of men and women who come back from the outer world at long intervals to find the city wonderfully shrunken in size, as if it had not washed by any means well in the meanwhile.
In and out among vessels that seemed to have got ashore, and houses that seemed to have got afloat--among bow-splits staring into windows, and windows staring into ships--the wheels rolled on, until they stopped at a dark corner, river-washed and otherwise not washed at all, where the boy alighted and opened the door.
They all looked very much travel-stained, and would have had the dust of many countries on their shoes, if the streams, through which they waded, had not washed it all away.
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