BE USELESS &c. adj.; go a-begging (redundant) [See Redundance]; fail [See Failure].
LABOR IN VAIN; seek -, strive- after impossibilities; use vain efforts, roll the stone of Sisyphus, beat the air, lash the waves, battre leau avec un bâton [F.], donner un coup dépée dans leau [F.], fish in the air, milk the ram, drop a bucket into an empty well, pour water into a sieve, sow the sand; bay the moon; preach -, speak- to the winds; whistle jigs to a milestone; kick against the pricks, se battre contre des moulins [F.]; lock the stable door when the steed is stolen (too late) [See Intempestivity]; hold a farthing candle to the sun; cast pearls before swine (waste) [See Waste]; carry coals to Newcastle (redundance) [See Redundance]; wash a blackamoor white (impossible) [See Impossibility].
RENDER USELESS &c. adj.; dismantle, dismast, dismount, disqualify, disable; unrig [chiefly naut.]; hamstring, hock or hough, cripple, lame (injure) [See Deterioration]; spike guns, clip the wings; put out of gear; throw a wrench in the machinery, throw a monkey-wrench into the works.
USELESS, inutile, nugatory, inefficacious, futile, unavailing, bootless; inoperative [See Impotence]; inadequate (insufficient) [See Insufficiency]; inservient [obs.], inept, inefficient (impotent) [See Impotence]; of no avail (use) [See Utility]; ineffectual [See failure]; incompetent (unskillful) [See Unskillfulness]; weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable [Hamlet]; superfluous (redundant) [See Redundance]; dispensable; thrown away (wasted) [See Waste]; abortive (immature) [See Nonpreparation].
WORTHLESS, valueless, unsalable; not worth a straw (trifling) [See Unimportance]; dear at any price.
VAIN, empty, inane; gainless, profitless, fruitless; unserviceable, unprofitable; ill-spent; effete, barren, sterile, impotent, worn out; unproductive [See Unproductiveness]; hors de combat [F.], past work (impaired) [See Deterioration]; obsolete (old) [See Oldness]; fit for the dust hole; good for nothing; of no earthly use; not worth -having, - powder and shot; leading to no end, uncalled for; unnecessary, unneeded, superfluous.
USELESSLY &c. adj.; to -little, - no, - little or no- purpose.
cui bono? [L.]; whats the good! whats the use!
Actum ne agas.
Chercher une aiguille dans une botte de foin.
Tanto buon che val niente.
Like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.Sorbienne
One might as well expect the Astronomer Royal to tell the time in a catacomb.Shaw