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be weighed (in the balance) and found wanting
To be judged deficient or substandard after being tested or reviewed. The phrase comes from the Bible. The senator always claimed to be hugely popular within his state, but in the most recent election, he was weighed in the balance and found wanting. Look, employee reviews are always nerve-racking—no one wants to be weighed and found wanting.
weigh (one's) words
1. To choose what one says carefully. Weigh your words when you talk to the boss—this is a situation you need to finesse.
2. To think about what one else has said. I've been weighing his words all day, trying to figure out what he meant.
weigh (something) in the balance
To consider the positive and negative implications of something very carefully, especially when making a decision. We'll have to weigh each applicant in the balance before deciding who to hire, so it could be a couple of weeks before we make our final decision. Be sure to weigh it in the balance before deciding to take out a loan of any size. Just because the bank is willing to lend you money doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.
weigh a ton
To be extremely heavy. Most often refers to something that must (and can feasibly) be handled by hand, as opposed to something that actually weighs a ton or more. Greg, go get your brother to help us lift this thing. It weighs a ton!
weigh against (someone or something)
1. To compare the benefits and disadvantages of two things or options against one another in order to choose the best one. When deciding on a vacation, I always have to weigh how much I want to relax at the beach against how much I love exploring new, bustling cities. We'll weigh your proposal against the various other options open to us.
2. To have a negative effect or impact on someone's or something's reputation or evaluation. Your persistent tardiness will certainly weigh against you in your annual review. There are a number of factors weighing against the proposed legislation.
To hoist the anchor so that a ship can sail. Weigh anchor, boys—we're going home!
1. To burden or immobilize something by attaching additional weight or placing it on top. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "down." You should weigh down those papers with a paperweight so they don't fly out the window. Your car definitely won't get good gas mileage if you have all that heavy equipment in the trunk weighing it down.
2. By extension, to be a burden or impediment to. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "down." It feels good to finally get that off my chest. I've felt like I've been weighed down by guilt all these years. All the extra orders have been weighing us down a bit, but hopefully we'll be able to get back to normal operations after the holidays.
weigh heavily with (one)
To be an important or influential factor for one, especially when faced with making a decision. This is an issue that weighs heavily with my constituents, so I am making it a priority during my time in Congress. Being close enough to visit my family during breaks weighed heavily with me when I was choosing which college to attend.
1. To be a certain weight. Often followed by "at" and the weight. The wrestler was disqualified when he weighed in 1 pound over the limit. That largemouth bass Jim caught weighed in at 20 pounds!
2. To be weighed. Typically used for sports such as boxing and wrestling, when competitors must not exceed a certain weight. Boxers always make a spectacle when they weigh in before the bout. Everyone has to weigh in on Friday, no exceptions.
3. To give one's opinion or analysis of something during a discussion. Karen, you haven't weighed in yet. What's your take on this? Later on the show, Senator Williams will weigh in on the debate.
weigh in at (something)
To be a certain weight. The challenger weighs in at 162 pounds. Is it really over the weight limit? What does it weigh in at?
weigh on (one's) mind
To cause someone a lot of worry, concern, or anxiety, especially for a long period of time. I know that money issues have been weighing on his mind ever since the company began issuing pay cuts. I really acted like a jerk on Friday night, and it has weighed on my mind all weekend long.
weigh on (someone or something)
1. Of an additional weight, to burden, immobilize, or bend something or something. The fallen tree must have weighed on the other to the point that both fell. I'm just worried about all the snow weighing on the roof. My backpack weighed on me heavily as I trudged through the hallways.
2. By extension, to be a burden or impediment to someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "on." It feels good to finally get that off my chest. The guilt has weighed on me for years. All the extra orders have been weighing on the production line a bit, but hopefully we'll be able to get back to normal operations after the holidays.
1. To measure the weight of something. I always weight out the meat I buy when I go home to make sure the butcher hasn't conned me.
2. To distribute or apportion something according to its weight. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "out." There are scales provided so you can weight out how much produce you need. We only have one sack of rice to last us the rest of the week, so we'll have to weight everyone's rations out.
3. To evaluate or consider the merits or value of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "out." We'll have to weigh these factors out when we decide the best course of action. The council has invited members of the public to the discussion so they could weigh out people's concerns.
1. To measure the weight of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "up." Let me weigh up that produce for you. The explorers weighed up the treasure they had found.
2. To gauge the potential benefits or downsides of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "up." We really need to weigh up our options here. I've weighed up all the pros and cons, and I think this is still the best phone for what I need.
3. To attempt to determine someone's strength, intelligence, skill, integrity, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "weigh" and "up." I could tell everyone was weighing me up when I walked into the office for the first time. The boxer silently weighed her opponent up from across the room.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
weigh against someone or something
Fig. to count against someone or something; [for some fact] to work against someone or something. I hope my many absences do not weigh against me on the final grade. This will weigh against you.
weigh in (at something)
Fig. to present oneself at a certain weight. (Usually said of boxers.) The fighter weighed in at over two hundred pounds. The contenders weighed in yesterday.
weigh on someone's mind
Fig. [for something] to be in a person's thoughts; [for something] to be bothering someone's thinking. This problem has been weighing on my mind for many days now. I hate to have things weighing on my mind. I can't sleep when I'm worried.
weigh someone down
Fig. [for a thought] to worry or depress someone. All these problems really weigh me down. Financial problems have been weighing down our entire family.
weigh someone or something down
to burden someone or something. The heavy burden weighed the poor donkey down. The load of bricks weighed down the truck.
weigh someone's words
1. Fig. to consider carefully what someone says. I listened to what he said, and I weighed his words very carefully. Everyone was weighing his words. None of us knew exactly what he meant.
2. Fig. to consider one's own words carefully when speaking. I always weigh my words when I speak in public. John was weighing his words carefully because he didn't want to be misunderstood.
weigh something against something
to ponder something by balancing it against something. I weighed going to town against staying here and sleeping and I decided to stay here. When I weigh your suggestion against my own ideas, I realize that I must follow my own conscience.
weigh something out
to weigh something as it is distributed. The merchant weighed the cuts of meat out for each of the waiting women. They weighed out the grain care-fully.
weigh something up
to find out the weight of something. I can't tell you how much this will cost until I weigh it up. Liz weighed up the meat and jotted down the price.
weigh (up)on someone
Fig. to burden or worry someone. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The problems at the office were beginning to weigh upon Mr. Franklin. My problems began to weigh on me.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Burden, oppress, as in Their problems have weighed them down. This expression transfers bowing under a physical weight to emotional burdens. [c. 1600]
Be weighed; also, be of a particular weight. For example, Because it was such a small plane, the passengers and their luggage had to weigh in before takeoff , or The fish weighed in at 18 pounds. [Late 1800s]
Also, weigh upon. Depress, as in His criticism weighed on her, or The long silence began to weigh upon us. This idiom was first recorded in 1775.
weigh one's words
Speak or write with deliberation or considerable care, as in The doctor weighed his words as he explained her illness. This term was first recorded in 1340.
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.
weigh something in the balancecarefully ponder or assess the merits and demerits of something.
The image is of a pair of old-fashioned scales with two pans in which the positive and negative aspects of something can be set against each other. The expanded phrase weighed in the balance and found wanting meaning ‘having failed to meet the test of a particular situation’ is also found, and is an allusion to the biblical book of Daniel , where such a process formed part of the judgement made on King Belshazzar .
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
weigh ˈanchor(of a ship and its passengers) leave a place: We weighed anchor in the afternoon and started for the Philippines.
This means ‘to lift the anchor out of the water’ before sailing away.
weigh on your ˈmind(of a problem or difficulty) make you feel worried and anxious: The safety of the missing children was weighing on their minds.
weigh (half) a ˈton(informal) be very heavy: These suitcases weigh a ton! What have you got in them? OPPOSITE: (as) light as air/a feather
weigh your ˈwordscarefully choose the words you use when you speak or write: He spoke very slowly, weighing his words.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To compare something to something else in order to make a decision: When we weighed our decision against the alternatives, it was clearly the wrong choice.
2. To affect someone or something adversely in an evaluation: My poor test scores will weigh against me.
1. To hold or bend something down by applying weight: I weighed the trail map down on the ground with stones. The vines were weighed down by their heavy grapes.
2. To burden or oppress someone or something: Heavy backpacks weighed down the hikers. The responsibilities of the new job weighed me down.
1. To be weighed at an official weigh-in for an athletic competition: The boxer weighed in before the fight. The fighter weighed in at 250 pounds.
2. To weigh something officially, as for travel on an airplane: The ticket agent weighed our bags in. After the agent weighed in my suitcase, I went to the gate.
3. To join an ongoing discussion, debate, or competition: The president still hasn't weighed in on the issue. After striking out twice, the player finally weighed in with a base hit.
weigh onor weigh upon
1. To cause to sink or bend heavily by or as if by added weight: The bad news weighed on the prices of oil stocks. A coating of ice weighed upon the slender branches.
2. To preoccupy someone with a feeling of guilt or blame: The consequences of their mistake weighed on them. Heavy guilt weighed upon the thief.
1. To measure or apportion some specific quantity by or as if by weight: The clerk weighed out a pound of cheese.
2. To weigh or otherwise evaluate something: We weighed out the hamburger and found we needed another pound. I wasn't sure that they gave us the correct amount, so I weighed it out.
3. To determine the relative value of some set of things: The council listened to our requests and carefully weighed them out.
To be of importance to someone when making a decision: The issue of taxes will weigh heavily with the voters.
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.
weighed (in the balance) and found wanting
Tested and proved faulty. This expression comes from the Bible, as part of Daniel’s interpretation to King Belshazzar of the writing on the wall (Daniel 5:27). It has been used ever since to mean a deficiency or failure.
weigh one's words, to
To speak or write thoughtfully and prudently. Weigh here is used in the sense of measuring the weight, or impact, of one’s words. This metaphor dates from ancient times and was already in print in the early fourteenth century. Dan Michel wrote, “[he] ne wegth his wordes ine the waye of discrecion” (Ayenbite of Inwyt, 1340).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer