What does “leave no stone unturned” mean?

Discover the meaning and usage of the idiom 'leave no stone unturned.' Learn how it originated and explore examples of its usage in everyday conversations. Spare no effort in your search for the right information!

Understanding the Idiom

Definition and Usage

The idiom “leave no stone unturned” means to make every possible effort to achieve a goal or find something, even if it requires a lot of time and effort.

It is often used to describe a thorough and exhaustive effort.

The idiom is commonly used in the English language to express a thorough search or investigation.

For example, a detective might say, “We will leave no stone unturned in our search for the missing person.” This means that the detective will do everything possible to find the missing person, including examining every possible clue and lead.

Historical Origins

The origin of the idiom “leave no stone unturned” has been traced back to an ancient Greek legend involving the Oracle of Delphi instructing Polycrates to find a glorious treasure and to move every stone to do so.

This meticulous and comprehensive approach captured the essence of the phrase, and it’s been adopted to depict a thorough search or investigation.

Examples of Usage

  • After losing her keys, she left no stone unturned in her search for them. [1]
  • The company left no stone unturned in their efforts to find the right candidate for the job. [2]
  • The detective promised to leave no stone unturned in his investigation of the crime. [3]