miss the boat

boat

[boht]
noun
1.
a vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion.
2.
a small ship, generally for specialized use: a fishing boat.
3.
a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.
4.
a ship.
5.
a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.
6.
a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat; a celery boat.
7.
Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.
verb (used without object)
8.
to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.
verb (used with object)
9.
to transport in a boat: They boated us across the bay.
10.
to remove (an oar) from the water and place athwartships. Compare ship ( def 8 ).
Idioms
11.
in the same boat, in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.
12.
miss the boat, Informal.
a.
to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
b.
to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
13.
rock the boat. rock2 ( def 15 ).

Origin:
before 900; Middle English boot (noun), Old English bāt; cognate with Old Norse beit

boatable, adjective
boatless, adjective

barge, boat, canoe, cruise ship, sailboat, ship, yacht.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To miss the boat
Collins
World English Dictionary
boat (bəʊt)
 
n
1.  a small vessel propelled by oars, paddle, sails, or motor for travelling, transporting goods, etc, esp one that can be carried aboard a larger vessel
2.  (not in technical use) another word for ship
3.  navy a submarine
4.  a container for gravy, sauce, etc
5.  a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
6.  in the same boat sharing the same problems
7.  burn one's boats See burn
8.  miss the boat to lose an opportunity
9.  informal (Brit) push the boat out to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
10.  informal rock the boat to cause a disturbance in the existing situation
 
vb
11.  (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
12.  (tr) to transport or carry in a boat
 
[Old English bāt; related to Old Norse beit boat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

boat
O.E. bat "boat, ship, vessel," from P.Gmc. *bait- (cf. O.N. batr, Du. boot, Ger. Boot), possibly from PIE base *bheid- "to split" (see fissure), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship.
French bateau "boat" is from O.E. or O.N.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

miss the boat

  1. Fail to take advantage of an opportunity, as in Jean missed the boat on that club membership. This expression, which alludes to not being in time to catch a boat, has been applied more widely since the 1920s.

  2. Fail to understand something, as in I'm afraid our legislator missed the boat on that amendment to the bill. [Mid-1900s] Also see miss the point.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature