take the wind out of one's sails

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 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.
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