plain sailing


Definition of plain sailing

: smooth sailing Creating the lagoon was not all plain sailing. The bulldozer compacted the soil, and several trees died.— Eleanor Dwight

Examples of plain sailing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And even if Christmas does turn out to be better than expected – because a Brexit deal has been struck and an election delayed until 2020 — that doesn’t mean plain sailing from now on. Washington Post, "U.K. Shoppers Will Win This Christmas," 18 Oct. 2019 Staley’s reign atop Barclays since 2015 has been anything but plain sailing. Washington Post, "Barclays CEO Jes Staley Gets a Brexit Lifeline," 1 Aug. 2019 Though the girls are said to be doing well, the surgery was not plain sailing. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "Sisters conjoined at the head are separated after 50 hours of surgery," 16 July 2019 Life hasn't been plain sailing in north London for Aurier, though, with the former Paris Saint-Germain star coming in for a raft of criticism from the club's fanbase for his performances last season., "Mauricio Pochettino Challenges Serge Aurier to Show Consistency After Impressive Palace Showing," 15 Sep. 2019 Liverpool's run to the final was far from plain sailing, with the team having to overturn a three goal deficit against Barcelona in the semi-final second leg., "Andrew Robertson Reflects on Winning the Champions League & What it Meant to Liverpool," 7 Sep. 2019 Still, no more plain sailing for you now, no getting out of this one: fly to Switzerland, join the rest of the jury, help pick a winner from the nominees. María Gainza, Harper's magazine, "Both Sides Now," 10 May 2019 But the military relationship hasn’t been plain sailing either. Washington Post, "Mattis, China leaders strike positive tone despite tensions," 27 June 2018 Installing the London sculpture has not been plain sailing, however. Farah Nayeri, New York Times, "Christo’s Latest Work Weighs 650 Tons. And It Floats.," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plain sailing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plain sailing

1796, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for plain sailing

Time Traveler

The first known use of plain sailing was in 1796

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Statistics for plain sailing

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plain sailing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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