Definition of oil and water in English:

oil and water


  • Used to refer to two elements, factors, or people that are incompatible or do not blend together.

    ‘the two leaders are about as compatible as oil and water’
    • ‘For starters, Republicans are in control of the statehouse, and Republicans and tax increases mix about as well as oil and water.’
    • ‘Jazz and technology have frequently mixed about as well as oil and water.’
    • ‘By trying to make it one, they have ended up with something akin to an attempt at mixing oil and water together.’
    • ‘Where this author is concerned fact and fiction are not like oil and water.’
    • ‘Ballads and nu metal bands go together like oil and water, don't they?’
    • ‘Hopkins and Rock are so wrong together that it's like mixing oil and water.’
    • ‘My birthday - bang in the middle of summer - was always ‘spoilt’ because my cousins and my friend were like oil and water.’
    • ‘The two mindsets mix together ‘about as well as oil and water,’ Freeland writes.’
    • ‘I think it took a long time for the two of us to get OK with each other because we are absolutely oil and water.’
    • ‘Normally I would assume that tact and a blunt guy like Matt go together about as well as oil and water, but Matt's social graces come from a genuine wish to make everybody happy.’