Leave No Stone Unturned – Idiom, Meaning and Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Leave no stone unturned is an idiom that means to search exhaustively and not overlook any option or opportunity. It conjures up a vivid picture of someone diligently seeking an answer or solution, literally flipping every stone in their path to uncover what might be hidden beneath. From ancient tales of relentless pursuit, this phrase has endured and evolved to still be relevant today.

Idioms are common words or phrases that aren’t meant to be literal. They’re a great way to bring depth and vividness to our language, acting as windows to cultural and historical backdrops. 

Read on to find out this phrase’s deeper meaning and origin while learning how to use it with sentence examples.

Meaning of Leave No Stone Unturned

Leave No Stone Unturned – Idiom Meaning and Origin

To leave no stone unturned is to be extremely thorough and meticulous in your search or efforts. It’s a commitment to exhaust every possible avenue or option in pursuit of an outcome or answer.

When I first made the choice to jump ship from being an interior designer to a writer, I read hundreds of articles, watched dozens of videos, attended conferences, joined writing communities, and more before I actually made it a full-time career. I left no stone unturned in my preparation and research into the industry, and I’m so glad for it. I always say it’s better to be overprepared than under.

Different Tenses to Use

  • Leave: base form/infinitive. “Whenever she loses her keys, she vows to leave no stone unturned until she finds them.”
  • Left: past/simple. “He left no stone unturned during his extensive research for the project.”
  • Leaving: present participle/gerund. “By leaving no stone unturned, you ensure a thorough understanding of the topic.”

Leave No Stone Unturned Origin and Etymology

Leave No Stone Unturned Ngram
Leave no stone unturned usage trend.

The phrase “leave no stone unturned” is often credited 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.

Synonyms for Leave No Stone Unturned

For those moments when you’d like to mix it up, consider these synonymous expressions that hold similar meanings as leave no stone unturned.

  • Explore every avenue
  • Cover all bases
  • Search high and low
  • Go all out
  • Do one’s utmost

Leave No Stone Unturned Sentence Examples

Leave No Stone Unturned – Idiom Meaning and Origin 2

Here’s how leave no stone unturned can be used in different contexts.

  • For the upcoming finals, Amy intends to leave no stone unturned during her study sessions.
  • Detectives left no stone unturned in their hunt for the missing child.
  • To ensure we land the contract, we must leave no stone unturned in our prep for the presentation.
  • The committee is leaving no stone unturned to make sure it’s a smooth outdoor event.
  • “In our quest for innovative new ideas, we’ll leave no stone unturned,” the CEO declared.
  • After leaving no stone unturned, Sally finally found the heirloom ring in the attic and breathed a sigh of relief.
  • I recommend you leave no stone unturned when researching colleges; it’s a big decision!
  • The investigation team left no stone unturned but still couldn’t find conclusive evidence to pin the accused.
  • To find the perfect rustic wedding venue, the couple vowed to leave no stone unturned.
  • When it comes to finding that rare toy my kid wants for Christmas, I’ll leave no stone unturned.

Every Rock and Pebble

Leave no stone unturned is not just a saying; it’s an invitation to be thorough, diligent, and persistent in your endeavors. Whether it’s a daily challenge or a lifelong dream, let this idiom remind you of the merits of hard work and dedication. Hungry for more idioms? We’ve got an endless collection right on our site!