laugh out of court, to

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laugh something out of court

to dismiss something presented in earnest as ridiculous. The committee laughed the suggestion out of court. Bob's request for a large salary increase was laughed out of court.
See also: court, laugh, of, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

laugh out of court

Dismiss with ridicule or scorn, as in When he told them the old car could be repaired, they laughed him out of court. This expression, which originally referred to a case so laughable or trivial that a court of law would dismiss it, originated in ancient Roman times but has been used in English, without its former legal significance, since the late 1800s.
See also: court, laugh, of, out
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.

laugh out of court, to

To ridicule without mercy; to treat as not worth being taken seriously. The court here referred to is a court of law, and the idea of dismissing a case as laughable is mentioned in Horace’s Satires (35 b.c.). The modern term dates from the late nineteenth century and has lost its legal significance entirely, as in Walter de la Mare’s use (A Private View, 1909): “Longfellow, Emerson, and hosts of lesser men be laughed out of court.”
See also: laugh, of, out
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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