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bark up the wrong tree

Definition of bark up the wrong tree

informal

  1. :  to try to do something in a way that will not be successful <If you are looking for money from me, you're barking up the wrong tree.> <She claims that researchers are barking up the wrong tree by focusing on conventional forms of treatment for the disease.>



Word by Word Definitions

barkplay
  1. :  to make the characteristic short loud cry of a dog

    :  to make a noise resembling a bark

    :  to speak in a curt loud and usually angry tone :  snap

  1. :  the sound made by a barking dog

    :  a similar sound

    :  a short sharp peremptory tone of speech or utterance

  1. :  the tough exterior covering of a woody root or stem

    :  the tissues outside the cambium that include an inner layer especially of secondary phloem and an outer layer of periderm

    :  cinchona

  1. :  to treat with an infusion of tanbark

    :  to strip the bark from

    :  to rub off or abrade the skin of

  1. :  a small sailing ship

    :  a sailing ship of three or more masts with the aftmost mast fore-and-aft rigged and the others square-rigged

    :  a craft propelled by sails or oars

  1. :  in or into a higher position or level

    :  away from the center of the earth

    :  from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  1. :  risen above the horizon

    :  standing

    :  being out of bed

  1. : used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

    :  up into or in the

    :  in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. :  one in a high or advantageous position

    :  an upward slope

    :  a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. :  to rise from a lying or sitting position

    :  to move upward :  ascend

    : used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

wrongplay
  1. :  an injurious, unfair, or unjust act :  action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause

    :  a violation or invasion of the legal rights of another

    :  tort

  1. :  not according to the moral standard :  sinful, immoral

    :  not right or proper according to a code, standard, or convention :  improper

    :  not according to truth or facts :  incorrect

  1. :  without accuracy :  incorrectly

    :  without regard for what is proper or just

    :  in a wrong direction

  1. :  to do wrong to :  injure, harm

    :  to treat disrespectfully or dishonorably :  violate

    :  defraud

treeplay
  1. :  a woody perennial plant having a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part

    :  a shrub or herb of arborescent form

    :  a piece of wood (as a post or pole) usually adapted to a particular use or forming part of a structure or implement

  1. :  to drive to or up a tree

    :  to put into a position of extreme disadvantage :  corner

    :  to bring to bay


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