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1. adverb At the highest capacity or most extreme rate possible; rapidly, recklessly, or with full abandon. When I first bought the car, it was a total hunk of junk; but after a few months of work, it's now running full-tilt boogie. When the police showed up, everyone darted full-tilt boogie out of the house.
2. noun An extreme level of performance, capacity, or energy. We've reached a full-tilt boogie in the office, with everyone working extra hours to get the project off the ground.
See also: boogie
tilt the balance
To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will tilt the balance in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has tilted the balance of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
tilt the scale(s)
To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will tilt the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has tilted the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
at full speed
As fast as possible. I drove at full speed, and I still got there late. Do you think she has a chance to win the race, if she runs at full speed? They are planning this wedding at full speed. I hope they don't forget any major details.
(at) full tilt
As fast as something or someone can go. Once Tom caught the ball, he took off at full tilt toward the end zone. I started feeling nauseous on the way home because Kelly was driving full tilt on a windy highway.
tilt at windmills
To waste time fighting enemies or trying to resolve issues that are imaginary, not as important, or impossible to overcome. The CEO seems to be tilting at windmills lately, flinging accusations at members of the press for no reason. The company keeps tilting at windmills with its insistence on implementing a service structure that serves no immediate purpose.
In a reckless or rash state; acting without proper care, attention, or consideration. Originally used in reference to poker players who begin making reckless decisions after experiencing either good or bad luck. Primarily heard in US. The team has been on tilt after losing their quarterback to a penalty, making foolish decisions that have cost them a number of points. The president has been on tilt ever since allegations of tax fraud began derailing her efforts to get a tax overhaul passed in Congress.
1. Literally, to slope or incline at a certain angle. The weight in the rear was so drastic that the car tilted at a nearly 45-degree angle when it hit a speedbump. The roads here tilt at crazy angles, so you have to be careful when you're parking your car.
2. To charge at someone or something in or as in an attack. The bull tilted at me from the other side of the pen, but luckily I was able to leap over the fence before it reached me. The fencer tilted at his opponent with his sword.
3. To strive to defeat or overcome someone or something. He spent his entire career tilting at the problem of renewable energy. The federal regulators have begun tilting at pharmaceutical companies they say are exploiting patient need in order to inflate costs.
at full speedand at full tilt; at full throttle
as fast as possible. The motor was running at full speed. John finished his running at full tilt. When the horse reached the back stretch he was at full throttle.
tilt at windmills
Fig. to fight battles with imaginary enemies; to fight against unimportant enemies or issues. (As with the fictional character, Don Quixote, who attacked windmills.) Aren't you too smart to go around tilting at windmills? I'm not going to fight this issue. I've wasted too much of my life tilting at windmills.
tilt something back
to move something so it leans back. Alice tilted her chair back and nearly fell over. She tilted back her chair and relaxed.
tilt to something
to lean or slant toward something or in a particular direction. The picture tilts to the left. Her head was tilted to the left because she was trying to see around the corner.
tilt toward someone or something
1. Lit to lean toward someone or something. The table is tilting toward Roger. The old shed tilted toward the west.
2. Fig. to favor choosing someone or something; to lean toward doing something. I am tilting toward Roger for my assistant. I am tilting toward the red car, not the black one.
full tilt, at
As fast or forcefully as possible, as in Running full tilt on that very uneven ground, she was bound to trip and fall or Trying to keep up with new orders, the factory was running at full tilt. Originally referring to the combatants' thrust of a sword or lance, this term has been used figuratively since about 1700.
See also: full
tilt at windmills
Engage in conflict with an imagined opponent, pursue a vain goal, as in Trying to reform campaign financing in this legislature is tilting at windmills. This metaphoric expression alludes to the hero of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605), who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to strike) against a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants.
tilt at windmillsLITERARY
If someone tilts at windmills, they waste their time on problems which do not exist or are unimportant. Of course with their petition and their campaign, they are all tilting at windmills. His critics considered him a tiresome idealist who spent an idle life tilting at windmills. Note: This expression refers to the novel `Don Quixote' (1605) by the Spanish writer Cervantes, in which Don Quixote sees some windmills, thinks that they are giants, and tries to attack them.
(at) full tiltwith maximum energy or force; at top speed.
1912 Edith Wharton Letter Just after we left Modena a crazy coachman drove full tilt out of a side road.
tilt at windmillsattack imaginary enemies or evils.
In Cervantes' 17th-century mock-chivalric novel Don Quixote, the eponymous hero attacked windmills in the deluded belief that they were giants.
(at) full ˈpelt/ˈspeed/ˈtiltwith great speed, force, etc: The police were chasing him so he ran full pelt down the road. ♢ We drove down the road at full tilt.
tilt at ˈwindmillswaste your energy attacking imaginary enemies: For some reason he thinks everyone is out to get him, but he’s really just tilting at windmills.This expression comes from Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote, in which the hero thought that the windmills he saw were giants and tried to fight them.
1. To charge or thrust at someone or something with lance or sword: The knight tilted at his opponent.
2. To fight against someone or something: The protesters were tilting at social injustices.
at full tilt
At full speed: a tank moving at full tilt.
In a reckless manner, especially playing poker recklessly after experiencing bad or good luck.
tilt at windmills
To confront and engage in conflict with an imagined opponent or threat.
tilt at windmills, to
To pursue a fruitless course or attack nonexistent enemies. This expression comes from Cervantes’s famous hero, Don Quixote, who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to attack) upon a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants (Don Quixote, Part 1, chapter 8; 1605). The image has caught the imagination of subsequent writers to the present day.
tilt at windmills
Fight imaginary enemies or fight a battle that can't be won. “Tilt” means “joust,” as in mounted knights fighting each other with lances. In Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha came upon a row of windmills and took them for giants, their flailing arms ready to do battle. Despite his squire Sancho Panza's pointing out that they were windmills, Don Quote set his lance, spurred his steed Rocinante, and charged the “enemy.” Alas for the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, the windmills prevailed. Anyone who similarly takes on a losing cause is tilting at windmills.