Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


miss the boat

miss the boat

also miss the bus


  • miss a chance
  • being too slow to take advantage of an opportunity
  • to lose an opportunity by being slow to act
  • to miss out on something


  1. The discounted price sale ended today and I just missed the boat on making a great deal.
  2. He missed the boat when he did not apply for the job in time.
  3. If you don’t pay attention in class, you’ll miss the boat and do badly in your exams.
  4. There were tickets available for the match till last week, but you have missed the boat by waiting till today.
  5. It was widely expected that he would get the funding, but he missed the boat by not keeping his appointment.
  6. In this competitive scenario, if you don’t keep yourself abreast of latest developments, you are going to miss the boat.
  7. There are others waiting to grab an opportunity like this; if you don’t act fast, you are going to miss the boat.
  8. He did not turn up for the trials, so he missed the boat to be in the team for the main event.

This phrase has been in use since the 1900s.

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  • Expression: Chad writes on 30 April, 2017

    Many idioms come from antiquity with no one source. I would guess this one came from Noah’s Ark. That was a boat you didn’t want to miss.

  • Expression: buivilay writes on 1 March, 2017

    Where is this idiom from?

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