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beard the lion

To confront risk or danger head on, especially for the sake of possible personal gain. Refers to a proverb based on a Bible story from I Samuel, in which a shepherd, David, hunts down a lion that stole a lamb, grasps it by the beard, and kills it. Risks very often don't turn out well, but if you don't face them and beard the lion, you will never achieve the success you truly desire.
See also: beard, lion

the lion's den

A particularly dangerous, hostile, or oppressive place or situation, especially due to an angry or sinister person or group of people within it. I felt like I was walking into the lion's den when I went in front of the board for my annual review.
See also: den

beard (one) in (one's) den

To confront risk or danger head on, especially for the sake of possible personal gain. The phrase is a variation of the Biblical proverb "beard the lion in his den." OK, who is going to beard the boss in his den and tell him that the deal isn't happening?
See also: beard, den

beard the lion in his den

To confront risk or danger head on, especially for the sake of possible personal gain. Refers to a proverb based on a Bible story from I Samuel, in which a shepherd, David, hunts down a lion that stole a lamb, grasps it by the beard, and kills it. A risk very often doesn't turn out well, but if you don't face it and beard the lion in his den, you will never achieve the success you truly desire.
See also: beard, den, lion

den of iniquity

A place where seedy activities happen. I'm not surprised to hear that the police raided that club again—it's a den of iniquity!
See also: den, iniquity, of

beard the lion in his den

 and beard someone in his den
Prov. to confront someone on his or her own territory. I spent a week trying to reach Mr. Toynbee by phone, but his secretary always told me he was too busy to talk to me. Today I walked straight into his office and bearded the lion in his den. If the landlord doesn't contact us soon, we'll have to beard him in his den.
See also: beard, den, lion

den of iniquity

a place filled with criminal activity or wickedness. The town was a den of iniquity and vice was everywhere. Police raided the gambling house, calling it a den of iniquity.
See also: den, iniquity, of

beard the lion

Confront a danger, take a risk, as in I went straight to my boss, bearding the lion. This term was originally a Latin proverb based on a Bible story (I Samuel 17:35) about the shepherd David, who pursued a lion that had stolen a lamb, caught it by its beard, and killed it. By Shakespeare's time it was being used figuratively, as it is today. Sometimes the term is amplified to beard the lion in his den, which may combine the allusion with another Bible story, that of Daniel being shut in a lions' den for the night (Daniel 6:16-24).
See also: beard, lion

a den of iniquity

If a place is a den of iniquity, a lot of immoral things happen there. As time went on, he realised he was working in a den of iniquity and that the corruption spread right to the top of the organization.
See also: den, iniquity, of

walk into the lion's den

COMMON If you walk into the lion's den, you deliberately place yourself in a dangerous or difficult situation. Confident that he had done no wrong, the Minister last night walked into the lion's den of his press accusers, looked them in the eye, and fought back. Note: Other verbs such as go, step, or venture can be used instead of walk. We need to win tonight's game, but we are going into the lion's den without one of our key men. Note: You can also say that someone is thrown or sent into the lion's den if they are put in a difficult or dangerous situation. She was eagerly accepted by the teaching agency, and thrown straight into the lion's den at a tough comprehensive school in Surrey. Note: This expression comes from the story in the Bible of Daniel, who was thrown into a den of lions because he refused to stop praying to God. However, he was protected by God and the lions did not hurt him. (Daniel 6)
See also: den, walk

beard the lion in his den (or lair)

confront or challenge someone on their own ground.
This phrase developed partly from the idea of being daring enough to take a lion by the beard and partly from the use of beard as a verb to mean ‘face’, i.e. to face a lion in his den.
See also: beard, den, lion

the lion's den

a demanding, intimidating, or unpleasant place or situation.
See also: den

a den of iˈniquity/ˈvice

(disapproving) a place where people do bad things: She thinks that just because we sit around smoking and drinking beer the club must be a real den of iniquity.
See also: den, iniquity, of

the ˌlion’s ˈden

a difficult situation in which you have to face a person or people who are unfriendly or aggressive towards you: Before each one of her press conferences, she felt as if she were going into the lion’s den.This idiom comes from the story of Daniel in the Bible, who went into a lion’s den (= home) as a punishment but was not hurt by the lion.
See also: den
References in classic literature ?
Dey'll sell dese niggers today fo' stealin' de money, den dey'll buy some mo' dat don't now de chillen--so dat's all right.
And she went into the den next door, where another mother-lion lived, and told her all about it.
Den I finish my cases quick, und I say: 'Let us go to your house und get a trink.
Den Bertran laugh and say, 'Fi dond' shust as if it was a glass broken upon der table; und Bimi come nearer, und Bertran was honey-sweet in his voice and laughed to himself.
Und den Bertran kill him with his hands, und I go for a walk upon der heach.
In a very short time a decrepit figure had emerged from the opium den, and I was walking down the street with Sherlock Holmes.
Had I been recognised in that den my life would not have been worth an hour's purchase; for I have used it before now for my own purposes, and the rascally Lascar who runs it has sworn to have vengeance upon me.
Inside the den they saw the strange white ape lying half across a table, his head buried in his arms; and on the bed lay a figure covered by a sailcloth, while from a tiny rustic cradle came the plaintive wailing of a babe.
Then, kissing each lass sweetly, he wished them all good den, and left them.
I give you good den, sweet friends," quoth Little John, striding up to where they sat.
Staggering to his feet, the ape-man groped about the reeking, oozy den.
And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?
And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous?
Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word "justice.
That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den, these poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life--is because they would thereby do injury.