to go against the grain

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - go against the grain

"to go against the grain"

to do something that is contrary of what is usually done


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - go against the grain

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: I say we throw it out and start over.

Colleague 2: But we have spent months developing this system.

Colleague 1: It doesn't work.

Colleague 2: Wasting months of work goes against the grain of this company's corporate philosophy.

Colleague 1: Nonetheless, if we want this system to work, we will have to do something completely different that we have been doing.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - go against the grain

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: We are in a lot of trouble. What are we going to do?

Friend 2: We are going to lie.

Friend 1: Lying goes against the grain of everything I believe in.

Friend 2: Do you see another way out of this situation?

Friend 1: We could tell the truth and take the consequences. My conscience would be clear.

Test Your Understanding  

to go against the grain - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   759   click for frequency by country

to go against the grain - Gerund Form:

Going against the grain, his work style was not appreciated.

to go against the grain - Examples:

1)  ... is not uncommon for those whose views, however justified, which go against the grain of current scientific beliefs to be ignored or even derided. 

2)  These kinds of changes will not be easy. They go against the grain of some longstanding academic traditions.

3)  ... who just don't understand his pricing strategies because they go against the grain of the way most do business.

4)  It takes chutzpah to take the road less traveled, and go against the grain.

5)  ... has given them the confidence to go against the grain in regions where the traditional role for women is not as strong.

6)  The idea of letting go something that has been invested in goes against the grain of a lot of companies.

7)  Reshaping a hierarchical organization into a collaborative enterprise goes against the grain of five centuries of Western tradition.

8)  ... as well because the notion of embracing austerity on a national level goes against the grain of our collective psyche.

9)  ... always good to have something that goes against the grain, and that can hopefully make things stand out a little bit, ...

10)  But throwing away good lexical evidence goes against the grain for any historical linguist. And it seems particularly perverse to do so now, ...

11)  ... times before achieving success, and artists thrive in exploring boundaries and going against the grain, neither of which are encouraged and in most cases actively discouraged in most educational ...

12)  Kudos to the government for going against the grain for a successful program, it would be easier to keep the status quo, ...

13)  Ground-breaking music has always surfaced from risk-taking and going against the grain, ... 

14)  ... conservative, conformist society that is not terribly conducive to initiative and going against the grain.

15)  ... pursuits driven by passion rather than comfort/conformity, even if it means going against the grain and sacrificing creature comforts for something more meaningful and fulfilling, etc. 

16)  It went against the grain to be tucking into beef stew while the rest of the family chewed their macaroni.

17)  ... and at the time the religion was born, the teachings went against the grain of a misogynistic society.

18)  When the letter reached Nicanor he was very upset, for it went against the grain with him to break his agreement with a man who had done nothing wrong.

19)  She was fearless, she was bold, she went against the grain and became great.

20)  They were errants of their time, they went against the grain, they reached out to the populace by simply being.