take the wind out of (one's) sails


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take the wind out of (one's) sails

1. To diminish one's enthusiasm, excitement, or positive outlook (about something). She thought she'd won, but when I told her the letter was a scam, it really took the wind out of her sails. It took the wind out of his sails to learn that nearly half of his bonus would go to taxes.
2. To deprive one of an advantage; to make a situation unfavorable or detrimental for one. The crowd's deafening applause for the home team took the wind out of their opponents' sails. Learning that the boss was letting Jenny give a proposal for the project as well really took the wind out of my sails.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take the wind out of someone's sails

Fig. to challenge someone's boasting or arrogance. John was bragging about how much money he earned until he learned that most of us make more. That took the wind out of his sails. Learning that one has been totally wrong about something can really take the wind out of one's sails.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take the wind out of one's sails

Hamper or stop one, put one at a disadvantage, as in When they announced they were doing the same study as ours, it took the wind out of our sails , or The applause for the concertmaster took the wind out of the conductor's sails. This expression alludes to sailing to windward of another ship, thereby robbing it of wind for its sails. [Early 1800s]
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
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.

take the wind out of someone's sails

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

take the wind out of someone's sail

AMERICAN
If something takes the wind out of your sails, it makes you suddenly feel much less confident or determined in what you are doing or saying. The disappointment of that defeat took the wind out of our sails for a while. She suddenly apologized and it took the wind out of my sails. He missed the shot and it seemed to take a little wind out of his sail.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

take the wind out of someone's sails

frustrate a person by unexpectedly anticipating an action or remark.
1977 Eva Figes Nelly's Version She could so easily have taken the wind out of my sails and put me in my place for good.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take the ˈwind out of somebody’s sails

(informal) make somebody suddenly less confident or angry, especially when you do or say something that they do not expect: When he just smiled and agreed with her, it rather took the wind out of her sails.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take the wind out of someone’s sails

tv. to put a barrier in someone’s path; to reduce the effectiveness of someone. When the cops showed Bart the evidence, it took the wind out of his sails.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

take the wind out of (one's) sails

To rob of an advantage; deflate.
See also: of, out, sail, take, wind
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.

take the wind out of someone's sails, to

To put someone at a disadvantage; to stop someone, literally or figuratively. This term, which alludes to impeding a sailing vessel by sailing to windward of it and thereby robbing it of the wind, was used literally until about 1800. Sir Walter Scott used it figuratively in The Fortunes of Nigel (1822): “He would take the wind out of the sail of every gallant.”
See also: of, out, take, to, wind
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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