take the wind out of one's sails

take the wind out of (one's) sails

1. To diminish someone's enthusiasm, excitement, or positive outlook (about something). She thought she'd won $1 million, 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 Christmas bonus would go to taxes.
2. To deprive someone of an advantage; to make a situation unfavorable or detrimental for someone. 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

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
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