beat the air

Idioms & Phrases

beat the air

Also, beat the wind. Continue to make futile attempts, fight to no purpose. For example, The candidates for office were so much alike that we thought our vote amounted to beating the air. These phrases call up a vivid image of someone flailing away at nothing. [Late 1300s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Next Definition: beat the band
Words Near: beat the air
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for beat the air
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing beat the air
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature