Throw Caution to the Wind(s)

Meaning of Idiom ‘Throw Caution to the Wind’

To throw caution to the wind is to act recklessly or rashly. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Usage

Today, the idiom is most commonly used with a singular ‘wind,’ but the original idiom was throw caution to the winds.

Examples Of Use

“Bill decided to throw caution to the wind and invest in his brother in law’s business.”

“Throwing caution to the wind, Marie not only went whitewater rafting, she went cliff diving.”

Origin

To the winds has been used since the 1600’s to mean ‘to be utterly lost. Later, during the mid-1800s, throw to the winds was used to mean ‘cast away completely’ or ‘utterly disregard.’

The full idiom, throw caution to the winds has been used since the early 1900’s.

More Idioms Starting with T

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.