windmill

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throw (one's) bonnet over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, throwing her bonnet over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't throw your bonnet over the windmill.
See also: bonnet, over, throw, windmill

fling (one's) bonnet over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, flinging her bonnet over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't fling your bonnet over the windmill.
See also: bonnet, fling, over, windmill

throw (one's) cap over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, throwing her cap over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't throw your cap over the windmill.
See also: cap, over, throw, windmill

fling (one's) cap over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, flinging her cap over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't fling your cap over the windmill.
See also: cap, fling, over, windmill

throw (one's) hat over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, throwing her hat over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't throw your hat over the windmill.
See also: hat, over, throw, windmill

fling (one's) hat over the windmill

To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, flinging her hat over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't fling your hat over the windmill.
See also: fling, hat, over, windmill

have windmills in (one's) head

To be lost in dreams and illusions, rather than rooted in reality. I appreciate Sal's ability to see beyond what is happening right now, but some of the wild ideas he comes up with make me wonder if he has windmills in his head!
See also: have, head, windmill

not know A from a windmill

To be stupid. It references the vaguely similar shape of the letter A and a windmill. How do you manage to burn pasta? It's like you don't know A from a windmill.
See also: know, not, windmill

tilt at windmills

Fig. to fight battles with imaginary enemies; to fight against unimportant enemies or issues. (As with the fictional character, Don Quixote, who attacked windmills.) Aren't you too smart to go around tilting at windmills? I'm not going to fight this issue. I've wasted too much of my life tilting at windmills.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

Engage in conflict with an imagined opponent, pursue a vain goal, as in Trying to reform campaign financing in this legislature is tilting at windmills. This metaphoric expression alludes to the hero of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605), who rides with his lance at full tilt (poised to strike) against a row of windmills, which he mistakes for evil giants.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

LITERARY
If someone tilts at windmills, they waste their time on problems which do not exist or are unimportant. Of course with their petition and their campaign, they are all tilting at windmills. His critics considered him a tiresome idealist who spent an idle life tilting at windmills. Note: This expression refers to the novel `Don Quixote' (1605) by the Spanish writer Cervantes, in which Don Quixote sees some windmills, thinks that they are giants, and tries to attack them.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

attack imaginary enemies or evils.
In Cervantes' 17th-century mock-chivalric novel Don Quixote, the eponymous hero attacked windmills in the deluded belief that they were giants.
See also: tilt, windmill

fling (or throw) your cap over the windmill(s)

act recklessly or unconventionally. dated
1933 John Galsworthy One More River I suggest that both of you felt it would be mad to fling your caps over the windmill like that?
See also: cap, fling, over, windmill

tilt at ˈwindmills

waste your energy attacking imaginary enemies: For some reason he thinks everyone is out to get him, but he’s really just tilting at windmills.This expression comes from Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote, in which the hero thought that the windmills he saw were giants and tried to fight them.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

To confront and engage in conflict with an imagined opponent or threat.
See also: tilt, windmill

tilt at windmills

Fight imaginary enemies or fight a battle that can't be won. “Tilt” means “joust,” as in mounted knights fighting each other with lances. In Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha came upon a row of windmills and took them for giants, their flailing arms ready to do battle. Despite his squire Sancho Panza's pointing out that they were windmills, Don Quote set his lance, spurred his steed Rocinante, and charged the “enemy.” Alas for the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, the windmills prevailed. Anyone who similarly takes on a losing cause is tilting at windmills.
See also: tilt, windmill
References in periodicals archive ?
AGUA DULCE - When Bob Skerstonas decided to beat the energy crisis and erect a windmill on his Agua Dulce spread, he raised a few eyebrows.
Though Rose found that many people didn't want to part with their old windmills, the would-be entrepreneur found his first whirling wonder in the nearby Kansas community of Scammon, already toppled and hid den in a hedgerow.
Hokkaido Electric Power has also said it would select suppliers through open bidding if their windmill plants generate more than 3,000 kw each.
With the premiere production of The Adventures of Don Quixote in Miami, Martinez tilts at yet another windmill, live theatre, as both playwright and co-founder of the Dreamer's Theatre Company with Director Yolandi Hughes.
The project of building windmills at Ranavec near Bogdanci went underway in May of last year as part of the project for providing electricity from renewable sources of energy.
Fulwell Windmill on Newcastle Road in Sunderland is the only working survivor of around 180 windmills which were once a feature of the North-East landscape.
Pupils at The Westwood School in Mitchell Avenue, Canley, Coventry, were asked to make windmills at home or at break time.
Berkswell Windmill, at Balsall Common, is one of 179 vulnerable listed buildings in the region included in the 2007 Buildings at Risk Register.
It is one of few surviving mills in England and children can take a step back in time into a fully working 19th Century windmill.
This summer, the town with a population of 4,500 was full of life, as hundreds of people, many from electric power companies, trading companies, environmental organizations and municipalities, visited a site dotted with 20 huge windmills.
The windmills are presented as various forms of pinwheels that spin with a gentle blow of air.
Following the construction of windmill-park in Bogdanci, Macedonia plans to construct windmills on Mountain Kozuf which proved to have faster wind compared to Bogdanci.
Continuing our look at some of the lost windmills of Teesside, Middlesbrough had a windmill at Acklam in the area of Green Lane Primary School that dated back to the 1300's.
Since April, when its 16 windmills were officially put to use, the windmill park put out 31 million KWh of electricity.