What does the idiom "That ship has sailed" mean?

That ship has sailed is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression That ship has sailed is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "That ship has sailed"

Meaning

The phrase 'that ship has sailed' means that the opportunity or potential for something to happen has passed and is no longer within reach. The phrase is used to describe a situation in which it is too late to take action, or something has become impossible to achieve because the opportunity no longer exists.

Etymology

The origins of the phrase 'that ship has sailed' are unclear, however it is thought to be derived from the maritime phrase “to sail a ship”, which means to navigate a vessel across the open seas. This phrase may have been converted into the modern day idiom “that ship has sailed” to suggest that the opportunity for something to happen has passed.

Usage

The phrase 'that ship has sailed' is most often used as an expression to describe a situation in which it is too late to take action, or something has become impossible to achieve because the opportunity no longer exists. It can be used by anyone in any situation where the potential for something to happen has passed. It can also be used in a more metaphorical or figurative way, such as when a friend is trying to encourage you to take a chance on something, but you reply “that ship has sailed”, meaning that it is too late and you have already missed the opportunity.

Example Sentences

  • I'm sorry but I can't help you out with this one - that ship has sailed.
  • We had the chance to buy the house, but we missed our opportunity - that ship has sailed now.
  • I tried to reach out to her, but she never replied - I guess that ship has sailed.
  • Don't worry, there will be other opportunities - if that ship has sailed, don't worry, there will be another one.

The meanings of the words in the "That ship has sailed" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.

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