to flog a dead horse

Idiom Definition

"to flog a dead horse"

to continue to put effort into something that will never be productive or function again no matter how much effort is expended

Idiom Definition - to flog a dead horse


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to flog a dead horse

Two mechanics are talking on the production shop floor ...

Alex: Well, I put another five hours into that old machine.

Peter: Did you get it working again?

Alex: I'm not sure exactly what is expected from a one hundred year old machine. No I didn't manage to get it going this time.

Peter: Are you going to keep working on it?

Alex: I believe that the machine is finished. It will never run again and there is no sense in flogging a dead horse. No, I won't put any more work into the machine.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to flog a dead horse

Two volunteers for a not-for-profit public service organization are talking ...

Sidney: Did we get the government grant?

Lesley: No. That was the fifth time that we had applied.

Sidney: Are we going to apply again?

Lesley: I don't think so. There's no sense flogging a dead horse.

to flog a dead horse - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   212   click for frequency by country

to flog a dead horse - Gerund Form:

Flogging a dead horse will not produce any results.

to flog a dead horse - Examples:

1)  I'm not going to flog a dead horse any further.

2)  I will bow out, not wanting to flog a dead horse and accept that it is what it is.

3)  Don't flog a dead horse if a partnership really isn't working.

4)  Neither of these situations are ones where you should be trying to flog a dead horse and trying to breathe life into the dead carcass.

5)  After all why flog a dead horse? Why write a book to refute a totally discredited theory?

6)  There are only three reasons why anyone would flog a dead horse to the extent that he does.

7)  Do you think Nintendo can flog a dead horse and simply release another dated system?

8)  If you're not getting the desired effect from it, don't flog a dead horse. Learn and adapt.

9)  Not to flog a dead horse but people please stop and think before you rationalize evil.

10)  Any advice would be great as I do like him but do not want to flog a dead horse.

11)  Hate to flog a dead horse, but the retail shelves continue to be disturbingly empty.

12)  Not to flog a dead horse here since other commenters have already acknowledged my point - but ...

13)  While some have labelled the initiative as flogging a dead horse is their dismissal a tad shortsighted?

14)  I'm betting I'm flogging a dead horse trying to point out the obvious.

15)  Rather than flogging a dead horse, how about people start asking 'why'?

16)  Stop flogging a dead horse: dismantle the Eurozone, emancipate the weak economies and let them die.

17)  Don't even bother trying, you are just flogging a dead horse.

18)  We should close our embassy there - no point flogging a dead horse - they are deadbeats.

19) By mid-morning I couldn't shake the feeling that we were flogging a dead horse

20)  I fear the system is breaking down, there is no point flogging a dead horse.