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To not act, or to not do something - thesaurus


drop the ball

to fail to do something that you are responsible for doing



if you do not bother to do something, you do not do it, either because there seems to be no good reason or because it involves too much effort



formal to not do something that is likely to cause serious problems



to fail to do something that you should do



formal to stop yourself from doing something. This word is often used in official announcements or signs

let nature take its course

to allow something to develop without trying to influence it

make no move

to do nothing

can’t bring yourself to do something

to be unable to do something because it is too unpleasant or embarrassing, or makes you too upset

omit to do something

to fail to do something that would have been helpful or honest

stand by

to not take action when you should

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More synonyms

blow off

Americaninformal to not do something you had agreed or arranged to do

bottle out

to not do something because you do not feel brave enough

chicken out

to not do something you were going to do because you are too frightened

come close to (doing) something

to nearly do something



formal to refuse to do something

dig your heels in

to refuse to do something even though other people are trying to persuade you

do something by proxy

if you do something by proxy, someone else does it for you

give something a miss

to decide not to do something that you usually do

I wouldn’t think of doing something/I would never think of doing something

used for saying that you would not consider doing something, for any reason or in any situation

keep off

to not go onto a particular area of land



to not do something, especially because you prefer to do it later or so that someone else can do it

leave it at that

to not do anything more about something

leave/let something alone

to stop trying to deal with something

leave someone/something hanging

to fail to solve a difficult situation, or to let someone remain in a difficult situation without solving it

leave something to chance/fate

to not try to change the way that something is developing or happening

let it/things lie

to not do or say anything because you might make a difficult situation worse

let sleeping dogs lie

to leave a person or situation alone if they might cause you trouble



to fail to be present for something, or to not be in a place when someone else is there

not do a stroke of work

to do no work at all

not soil your hands

formal to refuse to do something that you do not approve of



to stop yourself from doing something that you would very much like to do

sit by

to take no action when something bad is happening

sit tight

to stay where you are, or to not take action until the right time



to not do something, but to do the next thing instead

stand apart

to not involve yourself in something or with someone

stand around

to stand somewhere and do nothing, often when you should be doing something

stand aside

British to not involve yourself in a situation, especially one that you should be trying to prevent

stand/sit idly by

to see something bad happening without trying to prevent it

stand there

to stand in a place for no particular purpose, without doing anything useful

stop short of (doing) something

to not do something, although you almost do it



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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