promise the moon

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promise (one) the moon

To promise one something that cannot be done. Your clients will come to distrust you if you keep promising them the moon.
See also: moon, promise

promise the moon (to someone)

 and promise someone the moon
to make extravagant promises to someone. Bill will promise you the moon, but he won't live up to his promises. My boss promised the moon, but never gave me a raise.
See also: moon, promise

promise the moon

If someone promises the moon, they promise to do or give things that they cannot in fact give. Politicians promise the moon at election time, but do they deliver once they're elected?
See also: moon, promise

promise (somebody) the ˈmoon/ˈearth/ˈworld

(informal) make very big or impossible promises that you are unlikely to keep: He promised her the moon, but after ten years of marriage they hardly had enough to live on.
See also: earth, moon, promise, world
References in periodicals archive ?
Bush likes to promise the moon, as he did when he pledged to eradicate global terrorism.
A lesson for all is to know if your product is truly suited to the industry and client it is supposed to serve before you promise the moon.
In an age when most musicals promise the moon -- or at least an airborne helicopter -- it's refreshing to see a show with as few pretensions as Tommy Tune and Sandy Duncan's "Two for the Show.
They can promise the moon, but Joe Sixpack is not going to believe they can deliver the moon.
So were the ads, which seemed to promise the moon, and the trainers, who explained things in a language that only computer jocks could understand.
Candidates promise the moon to get elected, and by the time people find out it cannot be done, it is too late.
In less than two years, Rajiv was saddled with the Bofors scandal and an in-house messiah, who left Congress to promise the moon to the electorate.
If you promise the moon (here, have a Chinook) and it arrives after the party is over, do you have any plan for what you're going to do with it?