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.

Share your opinions5 Opinions

I have always visualized this as puddles of water under a bridge on dry land that serve no significant purpose and eventually dry up.

‒ Connie August 6, 2022

The bridge protects you from the water under it. So, when an issue is “water under the bridge,” it can’t affect you; you’re protected from it. To me this is a more logical explanation

‒ Kevin June 4, 2022

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

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