Idioms about war

Idioms about war

all’s fair in love and war.
Meaning: In love or in war, you are allowed to be deceitful in order to get what you want.

an act of war
Meaning: An act which is considered violent enough to cause war.

armed to the teeth
Meaning: The phrase armed to the teeth is an idiomatic expression that means heavily armed with deadly weapons.

arrow in the quiver
Meaning: This idiom is used when talking about one of a number of resources or strategies that can be used to achieve a goal.

bring a knife to a gunfight
Meaning: To enter into a confrontation or other challenging situation without being adequately equipped or prepared.

bury the hatchet
Meaning: The phrase to bury the hatchet is an idiomatic expression; it means to make peace.

call the shots
Meaning: If you call the shots you are in charge. You decide on the course of action and take the initiative.

caught in the crossfire
Meaning: This phrase is an idiomatic expression that literally means to be trapped between two lines of enemy fire

choose your battles
Meaning: If you choose your battles wisely, you are selective of the problems, arguments, and confrontations that you get involved in. Sometimes, it is wiser to save your time and effort only for the things that matter than to choose to fight every problem.

cross swords
Meaning: to quarrel or argue with someone; to have a dispute with someone.

dodge a bullet
Meaning: To manage to avoid a difficult or undesirable situation.

double-edged sword
Meaning: A benefit that carries some significant but non-obvious cost or risk.

draw fire
Meaning: If you draw fire, you attract hostile criticism.

drop a bombshell
Meaning: The phrase drop a bombshell refers to an alarming and unexpected announcement.

fight fire with fire
Meaning: If you fight fire with fire, you use the same methods and tactics that your opponent is using against you.

fight the good fight
Meaning: If you fight the good fight, you try very hard to do what is right so as to have a clean conscience.

give the gun
Meaning: The phrase give it the gun means to make a motor or engine run faster; to speed up.

go to war (over someone or something)
Meaning: To declare a war over someone or something.

gun it
Meaning: The phrase gun it means to accelerate or speed up quickly or suddenly. This idiom is usually said while traveling in a car.

hit and miss
Meaning: If something is hit and miss, it is unpredictable and may produce good results or it may fail altogether.

if you want peace, prepare for war
Meaning: The adage if you want peace, prepare for war means that if a country is well armed and is strong, its opponents will be less likely to attack it.

in the firing line
Meaning: If people are in the firing line, they are in a situation where they are likely to be criticized or attacked.

jump the gun
Meaning: The phrase jump the gun means to act too soon, before the right time.

keep your powder dry
Meaning: Be cautious and prepared for the worst.

lock and load
Meaning: The phrase lock and load means to prepare for an imminent event.

loose cannon
Meaning: The idiom “loose cannon” refers to a person who is unpredictable or uncontrolled and who is likely to cause unintentional damage.

meet your Waterloo
Meaning: If someone meets their Waterloo they are defeated by someone who is stronger or by a problem that is very difficult to surmount.

ride shotgun
Meaning: To ride shotgun means to sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle during a trip. Figuratively, the phrase refers to the support or aid given to someone in a situation or project.

running battle
Meaning: The phrase running battle refers to an argument that continues over a long period of time.

shot across the bow
Meaning: The phrase a shot across the bow is an idiomatic expression that indicates a warning to stop doing something.

shot in the dark
Meaning: The phrase refers to a hopeful attempt at something or a wild guess especially when you have no certain information or knowledge about the subject.

spike someone’s guns
Meaning: The phrase spike someone’s guns means to ruin someone’s plans or prevent someone’s success.

stick to one’s guns
Meaning: To stick to one’s guns means to refuse to change one’s convictions or beliefs; to maintain one’s position in the face of opposition.

take a stab at
Meaning: The phrase to take a stab at means to attempt or try.

to the hilt
Meaning: completely, fully, to one’s limit

under the gun
Meaning: If you are under the gun, this means that you are under pressure.

war of nerves
Meaning: War of nerves refers to a conflict using psychological techniques rather than direct violence in order to weaken the enemy.

war of words
Meaning: An argument between two people or groups.

war zone
Meaning: The idiom war zone refers to an area where war or some extreme violence is taking place.

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