grist to the mill


grist to the mill


  • something that gives a useful advantage.
  • anything that can be put to use for a specific purpose.
  • something that supports someone’s opinion.
  • something that at first glance seems bad or negative but that someone ultimately uses for good.

Example Sentences

  1. The recent market research data is grist to the mill for our marketing team, helping them tailor their strategies effectively.
  2. The new tax incentives are grist to the mill for small businesses, encouraging their growth and expansion.
  3. The negative comments about her performance were grist to the mill for her motivation to prove herself and work harder.
  4. The economic downturn provided grist to the mill for investors seeking to purchase properties at lower prices.
  5. The unexpected discovery of oil reserves in the region is grist to the mill for the country’s economy, offering new opportunities for development and prosperity.


“Grist to the mill” is a 1583 milling industry phrase. The majority of the population relied on flour from mills, which ground cereals into flour. Milling is crucial to understanding the idiom. “Grist” is the grain ground in a mill. Farmers brought their crop to the mill for flour manufacturing. Millstones turned grist into profitable flour. The mill needed grain to operate and make flour.

“Grist to the mill” is a metaphor for something useful, advantageous, or beneficial. To attain a goal, grist is the raw material or information. The mill needed grain to work and create flour, and the idiom implies that a goal or advantage requires a steady input of resources or circumstances. The term suggests using everything is available to achieve goals. It suggests taking use of resources, conditions, or information. It emphasizes making use of what’s available.

“Grist to the mill” has been used in many settings for ages. In business, marketing, personal motivation, and other situations, the term means leveraging resources or conditions to succeed. It emphasizes recognizing possibilities and making the most of them, like a mill using grain to make flour.

Share your opinions

What's on your mind?