empty the tank

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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (file)


empty the tank (third-person singular simple present empties the tank, present participle emptying the tank, simple past and past participle emptied the tank)

  1. (idiomatic) To make the utmost effort; to contribute to the absolute limit of one's energy and abilities.
    • 2006 July 5, Tom Withers, “Cleveland scores nine in fifth inning”, in USA Today, retrieved 19 June 2011:
      “It's important over the next five games to empty the tank and give all we've got.”
    • 2008 September 1, Joe LaPointe, “Martínez Shows Strength in Mets Win Over Marlins”, in New York Times, retrieved 19 June 2011:
      “You’ve got to empty the tank,” he said. “You can see the finish line. You know what you have to do.”
    • 2009 December 30, “Bruce Springsteen Honored at Kennedy Center”, in Rolling Stone, retrieved 19 June 2011:
      Stewart referenced Springsteen's work ethic and heart: “He empties the tank, every time. He empties that tank for his family, he empties that tank for his art, he empties that tank for his audience and he empties that tank for his country.”

Usage notes[edit]