to flog a dead horse - What is the meaning?

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What is the meaning of "to flog a dead horse" idiom?

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Idiom Scenario 1:


Two mechanics are talking on the production shop floor ...
Alex: Well, I put another five hours into that old machine.
Peter: Did you get it working again?
Alex: I'm not sure exactly what is expected from a one hundred year old machine. No I didn't manage to get it going this time.
Peter: Are you going to keep working on it?
Alex: I believe that the machine is finished. It will never run again and there is no sense in flogging a dead horse. No, I won't put any more work into the machine.

 

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Idiom Definition:


"to flog a dead horse"
to continue to put effort into something that will never be productive or function again no matter how much effort is expended
 
Synonyms: belabor, futile, impractical, ineffective, ineffectual, irrelevant, purport-less, purposeless, result-less, stupid, unavailing, unproductive, useless, valueless, worthless
 



 
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Idiom Scenario 2:


Two volunteers for a not-for-profit public service organization are talking ...
Sidney: Did we get the government grant?
Lesley: No. That was the fifth time that we had applied.
Sidney: Are we going to apply again?
Lesley: I don't think so. There's no sense flogging a dead horse.
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Idiom Usage:

To flog a dead horse is a rather strong expression and could cause offence to some people.
 
To flog a dead horse is most commonly used informally, though it can be used in some formal situations.
 
To tell someone that you think their efforts are futile ...
"I think you are flogging a dead horse."
 
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Gerund Form of the Idiom:

Flogging a dead horse will not produce any results.
 
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Idiom Conjugations:

 
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