Leave no stone unturned

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Leave no stone unturned is an idiom that dates to ancient times. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom leave no stone unturned where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To leave no stone unturned means to exhaust all possibilities, to be very thorough, to investigate every course of inquiry. The expression leave no stone unturned came into use in the 1500s. The scholar Erasmus used it in the translation of a particular Greek legend into Latin. Then, the Latin rendition was translated into English. The Greek legend that Erasmus translated concerned Polycrates of Thebes and his search for Mardonius’ treasure. Mardonius had buried his treasure somewhere near his tent, and Polycrates consulted the Oracle of Delphi to find it. The oracle told Polycrates to move ever stone until he found the treasure; Erasmus translated the passage of this Greek legend as leave no stone unturned. Related phrases are leaves not stone unturned, left no stone unturned, leaving no stone unturned.


This directly leads credence to the philosophy that Paton will leave no stone unturned and will not hesitate to bring in players if he thinks they can help the team win. (Sports Illustrated)

Kohli, who will leave no stone unturned to propel Team India to their maiden ICC trophy since 2013 was pleased to see the sun shining bright at the Ageas Bowl – the venue for the Test Championship showdown between India and Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in Southampton, England.  (Times)

“Merseyside Police, along with law enforcement agencies across the world, will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of those people who think they are above the law, and we will continue to target anyone involved in serious organised crime to keep this positive momentum going.” (Wirral Globe)