drive a coach and horses through

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

drive a coach and horses through (third-person singular simple present drives a coach and horses through, present participle driving a coach and horses through, simple past drove a coach and horses through, past participle driven a coach and horses through)

  1. (Britain, idiomatic) To spoil, break or render ineffective a rule, plan or agreement.
    • 2014 October 2, Dunkley, Emma; Parker, George, quoting McFadden, Pat, “Wonga to write off £220m of loans owed by customers”, in The Financial Times[1]:
      These findings drive a coach and horses through the claim that Wonga has been lending responsibly.
    • 2018 March 18, Campbell, Denis, “UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn”, in The Guardian[2]:
      We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.¶ But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all.

Synonyms[edit]