water under the bridge

water under the bridge
also, water over the dam

Meaning | Synonyms

  • past events that are not important anymore
  • something that has happened and cannot be changed, hence, not important
  • past occurrence that cannot be changed
  • events that occurred long ago and have been forgotten
  • to let bygones be bygones

Example Sentences

  1. We used to have big disagreements some years back, but that’s all water under the bridge now. We get along fine.
  2. When I was a child, I used to fancy myself being a sportsperson when I grew up, but that’s water under the bridge. Now I am stuck at this mundane job.
  3. I don’t want to talk about the argument we had last week. It’s water under the bridge now.
  4. I should have negotiated a higher salary when I was offered the job, but that’s water under the bridge now.
  5. Both parties agreed that their past disputes were water under the bridge and decided to work together towards a common goal.


The phrase originated around the early 1900s. It probably refers to the fact that water (of a river) flows constantly towards the sea and is not still, indicating that the water that has already flowed under the bridge will not return.

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W 6 Thoughts

6 Thoughts

Always heard this, never understood it till now, thanks.

- Anonymous December 3, 2020

Always wondered what the hell that actually started from. Now I know. 🤔😎

- Carrie Hert November 21, 2020

I read where it is an Etruscan saying. Is that possible? Either way, a lovely fantasy. I see an Etruscan shepherd, stretched out on his side near a stream, sheep in the background, him pining over a lost love.

- Elmer Lang November 21, 2018

Give kid examples but this works

- Pricila April 24, 2018

Thanks, really good explanation.

- Люда January 24, 2018

This is so helpful!😍 It’s helping me a lot in my grammar lesson.

- Rebecca January 24, 2018

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