back to the drawing board

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Coined as “Well, back to the old drawing board.” as the caption of a Peter Arno cartoon of The New Yorker of March 1, 1941, depicting an engineer walking away from a crashed plane. (cartoon)

Adverb[edit]

back to the drawing board

  1. (idiomatic) Back to the beginning following an unsuccessful attempt.
    Well, that didn't work at all, so it's back to the drawing board, I guess.

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