get blood from a stone
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British pronunciation/ɡɛt blˈʌd fɹɒm ˌaʊtəv ɐ stˈəʊn tˈɜːnɪp/
American pronunciation/ɡɛt blˈʌd fɹʌm ˌaʊɾəv ɐ stˈoʊn tˈɜːnɪp/
01

to try to do something that is very unlikely to accomplish

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[get] blood (from|out of) a (stone|turnip) definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "get blood from a stone" and when to use it?

The idiom "get blood from a stone" is used to describe a situation where it is extremely difficult or impossible to obtain something, typically referring to extracting information, money, or any valuable resource from someone who does not possess or unwilling to give it. The origin of this expression is uncertain, but it dates back to at least the 17th century. The idea behind the idiom is that stones and turnips are lifeless and do not contain blood, making it useless to try to extract something from them.

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Example
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The detective interrogated the suspect for hours, but it was like trying to get blood from a turnip.
The company tried to collect outstanding payments from the delinquent client, but it was like trying to get blood out of a stone.
Trying to get a straight answer from him is like trying to get blood from a stone.
I've been trying to get my money back from that dishonest vendor, but it feels like trying to get blood out of a turnip.
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Meaning of "[get] blood (from|out of) a (stone|turnip)"
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