were it not for (someone or something)

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were it not for (someone or something)

If someone or something hadn't helped, intervened, or affected the situation in some way. The phrase is always accompanied by an explanation of how things would have turned out differently without someone or something. I actually owe Tom a lot. Were it not for him, I never would have met the love of my life! Don't try to blame me. This whole company would have gone under were it not for the actions I took! Were it not for those quick-thinking bystanders, I wouldn't be alive today.
See also: for, not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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