throw the baby out with the bathwater

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English[edit]

Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From a German proverb that dates to 1512. First recorded by Thomas Murner in his satire Narrenbeschwörung. First appeared in English when Thomas Carlyle translated it and used it in an 1849 essay on slavery.

Pronunciation[edit]

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Verb[edit]

throw the baby out with the bathwater (third-person singular simple present throws the baby out with the bathwater, present participle throwing the baby out with the bathwater, simple past threw the baby out with the bathwater, past participle thrown the baby out with the bathwater)

  1. (idiomatic) To discard, especially inadvertently, something valuable while in the process of removing or rejecting something unwanted.
    They cancelled the entire project because the new management didn't like the prototype, but I think they threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Translations[edit]