all is fair in love and war


Also found in: Acronyms.

all is fair in love and war

Otherwise questionable actions are acceptable under extenuating circumstances. Often written as "all's fair in love and war." A: "I can't believe you took credit for my idea just so you would look good to the boss!" B: "Come on, all is fair in love and war!"
See also: all, and, fair, love, war

all's fair in love and war

A phrase used to justify behavior that could be considered unsavory, unethical, or unfair. So I had to flatter the boss in order to get that big promotion. All's fair in love and war, right? I told Jeff that Mary had a boyfriend because I wanted to ask her out first. Say what you will, but all's fair in love and war!
See also: and, fair, love, war
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