flush out

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

flush out ‎(third-person singular simple present flushes out, present participle flushing out, simple past and past participle flushed out)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see flush,‎ out.
  2. (idiomatic) To drive out or expose something or someone.
    The army flushed out the enemy spy.
  3. (proscribed) To flesh out.
    • 1990, Robert E. Bergman and Thomas V. Moore, Managing Interactive Video/Multimedia Projects, Educational Technology, ISBN 0877782091, page 45:
      It should serve to flush out the existing ideas, generate new ones, insure that the approach chosen is responsive to the goals, and perhaps most importantly, get the whole team to sign up and take ownership of the application approach.
    • 2009, Laura Bell, 101 Things You Didn’t Learn in Harvard Business School, TotalRecall Publications, ISBN 1590957687, page 68:
      Brainstorming with friends and colleagues can help you flush out the details of the idea.
    • 2014, George Berkowski, How to Build a Billion Dollar App, Little, ISBN 0349401381, unpaged:
      As you flush out a great design, start prototyping it.

Usage notes[edit]

To flesh out an idea is to pursue it further. To flush out an idea would literally mean to stop pursuing it.