take the wind out of someone's sails, to(redirected from to take the wind out of someone's sails)
take the wind out of someone's sails
Fig. to challenge someone's boasting or arrogance. John was bragging about how much money he earned until he learned that most of us make more. That took the wind out of his sails. Learning that one has been totally wrong about something can really take the wind out of one's sails.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
take the wind out of (one's) sails
To rob of an advantage; deflate.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer