at sword's point

at sword's point

Also, at swords' points. Antagonistic, hostile, as in Father and son were at swords' points. Dating from the days when swords were used to settle quarrels, the idiom today generally signifies only a bitter quarrel.
See also: point
References in periodicals archive ?
If the Muslims had indeed converted the indigenous population at sword's point, India would have been a Muslim country today, which is not the case.
An extensively researched and annotated collection of primary historical sources, illustrated with a handful of black-and-white photographs, At Sword's Point is especially commended for college library and Utah history shelves for its wealth of firsthand accounts of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict.
Though they controlled the White House, took over the Senate, were making inroads in the judiciary and held sway over the military and corporate America, conservatives nevertheless felt they were at sword's point with liberal forces far bigger and more venal than themselves--in the media, Hollywood, academia, and Congress.
That might be difficult, since India has been at sword's point with Pakistan for many years - and its relations with China aren't much better.