take the wind out of someone'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.
take the wind out of someone's sailsBRITISH, AMERICAN or
take the wind out of someone's sailAMERICAN
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.
take the wind out of someone's sailsfrustrate 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.
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.”