miss the boat

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miss the boat

1. To lose the chance or opportunity to do something. If you don't call the recruiter back right away, you're going to miss the boat.
2. To make a mistake, often due to misunderstanding something. Boy, he really missed the boat with that tone-deaf statement.
See also: boat, miss
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

miss the boat

 
1. Lit. to miss out (on something); to be ignorant (of something). Pay attention, John, or you'll miss the boat and not learn algebra. Tom really missed the boat when it came to making friends.
2. Fig. to have made an error; to be wrong. If you think you can do that, you have just missed the boat. The guy's missed the boat. He's a lunkhead.
See also: boat, miss
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

miss the boat

1. Fail to take advantage of an opportunity, as in Jean missed the boat on that club membership. This expression, which alludes to not being in time to catch a boat, has been applied more widely since the 1920s.
2. Fail to understand something, as in I'm afraid our legislator missed the boat on that amendment to the bill. [Mid-1900s] Also see miss the point.
See also: boat, miss
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.

miss the boat

COMMON If you miss the boat, you fail to act in time to take advantage of an opportunity. The price of gold rose so quickly that many investors simply missed the boat. When I was still unmarried at 30, my mother and grandmother both worried that I'd missed the boat. Note: You can put an adjective before boat to say what kind of opportunity is being missed. Those who bought in May missed the investment boat. Note: People sometimes say miss the bus with the same meaning. Orders received by December 10 will be sent in time for Christmas. Too bad if you missed the bus.
See also: boat, miss
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

miss the boat (or bus)

be too slow to take advantage of an opportunity. informal
1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out He'll never get divorced and marry her. She'll miss the boat.
See also: boat, miss
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌmiss the ˈboat

(informal) lose the opportunity to do or get something because you do not act quickly enough: I’m afraid we’ve missed the boat — all the tickets for Saturday’s performance have been sold.
See also: boat, miss
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

miss the boat

tv. to have made an error; to be wrong. If you think you can do that, you have just missed the boat.
See also: boat, miss
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

miss the boat

Informal
1. To fail to avail oneself of an opportunity.
2. To fail to understand.
See also: boat, miss
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

miss the boat/bus, to

To fail to take advantage of an opportunity; to arrive too late to profit. The analogy to missing a scheduled transport is fairly obvious and has been drawn since about 1900. One of its more curious uses was in a speech by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain commenting (April 4, 1940) on Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Norway, “Hitler has missed the bus.” This was odd in view of Chamberlain’s own temporizing and attempts at pacification, which gave Hitler more time to embark unimpeded on his conquest of Europe.
See also: boat, miss, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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