waste one's breath, to

waste one's breath

Fig. to waste one's time talking; to talk in vain. Don't waste your breath talking to her. She won't listen. You can't persuade me. You're just wasting your breath.
See also: breath, waste
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

waste one's breath

Speak in vain (because no one agrees), as in Don't waste your breath complaining to the supervisor-it won't help. This notion was first recorded about 1400 as wasting words. The exact idiom was first recorded in 1667. Also see save one's breath.
See also: breath, waste
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.

waste (one's) breath

To gain or accomplish nothing by speaking.
See also: breath, waste
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.

waste one's breath, to

To talk in vain, because no one will listen. The idea that breath is something that can be saved or wasted dates from the sixteenth century (see also save your breath). Tennyson used the term in “In Memoriam” (1850): “I trust I have not wasted breath.”
See also: waste
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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