Idiom:  waste your breath

A woman has styled her hair in a crazy way with round balls of hair in ponytails. Caption: Don't waste your breath telling her that her hair looks ridiculous. She loves how it looks.


Idiom:  waste one’s breath

  • to say something that will probably be ignored or not have any effect

Imagine you are talking to someone or would like to talk to someone. However, you know that the person is not going to listen to you or is going to ignore what you have to say.

Would you use your energy or your breath to speak the words? If there will not be an effect or result then you are wasting your effort.

Example sentences

  • You could tell her that her hairstyle looks ridiculous but you’d just be wasting your breath.
  • I don’t waste my breath asking my kids to get off the Internet—instead I just disconnect it each night at 8 PM.
  • He's already decided he's not going to college so don't waste your breath trying to convince him he's making a mistake.
  • I practiced my speech all weekend but I wish I hadn't wasted my breath. I'm sure they had already decided who they wanted on the debate team.
  • My wife just doesn't listen. I'm not going to waste my breath arguing with her again.
  • Why does the director waste his breath telling people to be on time for work? Without negative consequences, no one will ever change their behavior.
  • You're wasting your breath nagging your kids to do their chores.
  • My neighbor is wasting his breath complaining to me about the weather every day.


  • waste your time
  • plough the air
  • flog a dead horse

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  5. Idiom: waste your breath