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be wasting (one's) breath
To be talking of, discussing, or saying things that are likely to be ignored or are in vain. Don't bother trying to change my mind about this, you're wasting your breath! It looks like I was wasting my breath when I tried to pitch my idea to the board of directors.
You are wasting or running out of time! "Wasting" is often shortened to "wastin'." Come on, get those chores done so we can get out of here. Time's a-wastin'! Time's a-wasting, kids! You're going to fail the assignment if your experiments aren't finished by the end of the class.
waste (one's) breath
To talk of, discuss, or say things that are likely to be ignored or are in vain. Don't bother trying to change my mind about this, you're wasting your breath! It looks like I wasted my breath trying to pitch my idea to the board of directors.
slang To kill or murder someone. Grab your piece and go waste that fool. They sent a hitman to go waste the informant.
See also: waste
1. To dwindle toward a state of nothingness or complete decrepitude; to wither away. He didn't want them to see him wasting away from the cancer. The old industrial site just sits out there wasting away, unable to be rezoned due to contamination.
2. To squander something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "waste" and "away." I feel like we've been wasting away every weekend watching TV. Let's try to get out of the house tomorrow. The old fool wasted his fortune away on trips to the casino.
waste no time (in) (doing something)
To act or do something immediately or as expediently as possible. Wow, Sarah wasted no time finding a new boyfriend after she and Rob split up. We have to have the application in by tomorrow morning, so we must waste no time in getting everyone's signature that we need.
waste on (someone or something)
To expend something on a person or thing that will not appreciate or properly utilize it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "waste" and "on." Her talent in art is wasted on me—I have no eye for design.
1. To procrastinate; to avoid doing something, especially by engaging in some frivolous or diversionary activity. Mark, please stop wasting time and get on with your presentation! Whenever I ask the kids to do their chores, they always find some way or another to waste time. You can tell it's Monday because everyone in the office keeps wasting time over by the water cooler.
2. To spend time engaging in idle, unproductive, or unhelpful activities in order to consume spare time. In this usage, a modifier can be used between "waste" and "time." I remember being a kid and wasting huge amounts of time just strolling around the mall on the weekend. Come meet us for a coffee! We're just wasting time near the station until our train leaves.
3. To do or say something that takes up one's or someone else's time in a useless or unhelpful manner. In this usage, a possessive adjective can be used between "waste" and "time." If you don't have anything useful to contribute, then please just get out of here and stop wasting my time. She's wasting her time trying to convince the boss to increase the budget. I hate it when people hold up the ticket counter at airports with these petty complaints. Don't they realize that they're wasting everyone's time?
you're wasting my time
What you are doing or saying is using up my time in a useless, unhelpful, or irritating manner. If you don't have anything useful to contribute, then you're just wasting my time. A: "Please, let me just demonstrate how this works!" B: "No, you're wasting my time now. Please leave."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
to wither or dwindle away. Our money just seemed to waste away. As she grew older, she just sort of wasted away.
waste something away
to use something up wastefully; to dissipate something. He wasted all his money away and had to live in poverty. They wasted away everything and regretted it later.
You're (just) wasting my time.
Inf. What you have to say is of no interest to me. Rachel: I've heard enough. You're just wasting my time. Good-bye. Mary: If that's the way you feel about it, good-bye. Bill: Come on, Bill. I'll show you what I mean. Bill: No, you're wasting my time.
Lose energy and vigor, become enfeebled and weak, as in She was wasting away before our eyes. [Late 1300s]
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.
be wasting your breath
If someone is wasting their breath, there is no point in them continuing with what they are saying, because it will not have any effect. He wanted to protest again, but the tone of her voice told him he was wasting his breath. Before I could get very far he interrupted me to tell me that I was wasting my breath. Note: You can say that something being said is a waste of breath. He would admit to the thefts, but deny everything else, and her accusations would be a waste of breath.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
1. To lose energy, strength, weight, or vigor; become weak or enfeebled: The patient wasted away from cancer.
2. To spend some time idly or wastefully: They are wasting their lives away playing video games. The idle rich waste away their days.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.