not if one can help it

Idioms & Phrases

not if one can help it

Only without one's agreement, only if one cannot prevent it. For example, Is he taking a second job?Not if his wife can help it, or He's not riding on the back of that motorcycle, not if I can help it. This idiom uses help in the sense of "prevent" or "cause to be otherwise." [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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