go through the motions

Idioms & Phrases

go through the motions

Do something perfunctorily, or merely pretend to do it. For example, The team is so far behind that they're just going through the motions, or She didn't really grieve at his death; she just went through the motions. [c. 1800]

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