"Pray look better, Sir... those things yonder are no giants, but windmills." — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Powell Jousts With Cheney on Path of Republican Party
By ADAM NAGOURNEY Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s public dispute with the former vice president underlined an internal struggle over the future of the party.
Snowfall in London is not unlike the city's quixotic bus service: you wait for what seems an eternity only for several to arrive in quick succession. Serial flurries starting on Sunday had by Monday morning spread a nice little blanket of snow across the British capital. It was only 6 inches deep, but it managed to shut down or sharply curtail service on most Tube lines, it caused chaos at airports, and it halted London's entire fleet of red buses.
Microsoft, Google Provide Great Web Joust in 2008
eWeek - New York, NY
By Clint Boulton Though always rivals, 2008 was the year Google and Microsoft officially recognized each other as archenemies, firing shot after shot across ...
Definition of tilt
4: any of various contests resembling or suggesting tilting with lances
(at) full tilt
phrase of tilt
windmill Show phonetics
1 a building or structure with large blades on the outside which, when turned by the force of the wind, provide the power for getting water out of the ground or crushing grain
See picture .
2 a wind turbine
3 (US ALSO pinwheel) a child's toy which consists of a stick with brightly coloured pieces of plastic at one end which turn around when you blow them or hold the toy in the wind
Attacking imaginary enemies.
Tilting is jousting. 'Tilting at windmills' derives from Cervantes' Don Quixote - first published in 1604, under the title The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha. The novel recounts the exploits of would-be knight 'Don Quixote' and his loyal servant Sancho Panza who propose to fight injustice through chivalry. It is considered one of the major literary masterpieces and remains a best seller in numerous translations. In the book, which also gives us the adjective quixotic (striving for visionary ideals), the eponymous hero imagines himself to be fighting giants when he attacks windmills.
Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.""What giants?" asked Sancho Panza."Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.""Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
The figurative reference to tilting at windmills came a little later. John Cleveland published The character of a London diurnall in 1644 (a diurnall was, as you might expect, part-way between a diary or journal):
"The Quixotes of this Age fight with the Wind-mills of their owne Heads."
The full form of the phrase isn't used until towards the end of the 19th century. For example, in The New York Times, April 1870:
"They [Western Republicans] have not thus far had sufficient of an organization behind them to make their opposition to the Committee's bill anything more than tilting at windmills."
Disparate universities, open-source engineers and quixotic aerospace start-ups are planning to start their own robotic missions to the moon, as part of the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.
Go to Article from The New York Times»
IN HIS 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush surprised many when he proposed to take the fight against AIDS to Africa. At the time, slowing the spread of the disease seemed quixotic, particularly on a continent where only about 50,000 of the 30 million infected people received...
(The Washington Post)
"Dare to dream... and when you dream, dream big." — Henrietta Szold
1. Absurdly chivalrous, idealistic, or impractical.
2. Impulsive, unpredictable.
[After Don Quixote, hero of the eponymous novel by Miguel de Cervantes
(1547-1616). Earliest documented use: 1718.]
Notes: Cervantes's novel has given us another idiom, tilting at windmills:
fighting with imaginary or invincible opponents. In the novel, Don Quixote
perceives windmills in the distance as giants and proceeds to attack them.
The word tilt here is a synonym for jousting.]
having or showing ideas that are imaginative but not practical or likely to succeed:
This is a vast, exciting and some say quixotic project.
joust Show phonetics
1 (in the past) to fight with a lance (= a long pointed weapon) while riding on a horse, especially as a sport
2 to compete, especially for power or control:
Manchester United and Liverpool are jousting for position at the top of the football league.
━━ n., vi. 馬上槍試合（を行う） ((with)); 競技［試合］に出る.
arch-enemy Show phonetics
an especially bad enemy