Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

beat a dead horse

Definition of beat a dead horse

chiefly US informal

  1. 1 :  to keep talking about a subject that has already been discussed or decided <I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I still don't understand what happened.>

  2. 2 :  to waste time and effort trying to do something that is impossible <Is it just beating a dead horse to ask for another recount of the votes?>



Word by Word Definitions

beatplay
  1. :  to strike repeatedly:

    :  to walk on :  tread

    :  to strike directly against forcefully and repeatedly :  dash against

  1. :  a single stroke or blow especially in a series

    :  pulsation, tick

    :  a sound produced by or as if by beating

  1. :  being in a state of exhaustion :  exhausted

    :  sapped of resolution or morale

    :  of, relating to, or being beatniks

  1. :  beatnik

deadplay
  1. :  deprived of life :  no longer alive

    :  having the appearance of death :  deathly

    :  lacking power to move, feel, or respond :  numb

  1. :  the state of being dead

    :  the time of greatest quiet

  1. :  absolutely, utterly

    :  suddenly and completely

    :  directly

horseplay
  1. :  a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family Equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding

    :  racehorse

    :  a male horse

  1. :  to provide with a horse

    :  to move by brute force

    :  to be in heat

  1. :  of or relating to a horse

    :  hauled or powered by a horse

    :  large or coarse of its kind


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up beat a dead horse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!