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be at daggers drawn
To be prepared to verbally or physically fight another person or group. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The police have had to intervene because those rival gangs have been at daggers drawn lately. The members of the committee are at daggers drawn because they cannot agree on a course of action.
draw someone out
on someone or something and draw someone out about someone or something; draw someone out to bring out someone's private thoughts about someone or something. I tried to draw him out on this matter, but he would not say any more. I tried to draw out the speaker, but she would not elaborate on what she had said. Fred wanted to draw out information about the company's plans, but the controller had nothing to say.
*drawn and quartered
Fig. to be dealt with very severely. (Now fig. except in historical accounts; refers to a former practice of torturing someone guilty of treason, usually a male, by disembowling and dividing the body into four parts. *Typically: be ~; have someone ~. Fixed order.) Todd was practically drawn and quartered for losing the Wilson contract. You were much too harsh with Jean. No matter what she did, she didn't need to be drawn and quartered for it!
drawn like a moth to a flame
Fig. attracted [to someone or some event] instinctively or very strongly, as a moth is drawn to the light of a flame. Customers were drawn to the sale like a moth to aflame. They came from all over and bought up everything in the store.
draw somebody/something outalso draw out somebody/something
to persuade someone to express their thoughts and feelings She was good at drawing out young people and getting them to talk about their dreams. She worked hard to draw out all the different opinions people had.
draw something outalso draw out something
1. to make something last longer than is usual or necessary I can't see any reason to draw the investigation out any longer. She paused to draw out the suspense.
2. to completely explain something Historians have to draw out, analyze, and judge the importance of the actions of others.
the battle lines are drawn
something that you say when two arguing groups have discovered exactly what they disagree about, and are ready to fight each other The battle lines are drawn for the leadership contest.
be at daggers drawn(British & Australian)
if two people or groups are at daggers drawn, they are angry and ready to fight or argue with each otherSee look daggers at
Usage notes: A dagger is a sharp pointed knife that was used in the past as a weapon.(often + with ) Local residents are at daggers drawn with the council over rubbish collection. (often + over ) The two countries have several times been at daggers drawn over the future of the island.
daggers drawn, at
Also, with daggers drawn. About to or ready to fight, as in Are Felix and Oscar still at daggers drawn over the rent? Although daggers today are rarely if ever used to avenge an insult or issue a challenge to a duel, this idiom remains current. Its figurative use dates from about 1800.
See also: dagger
draw and quarter
Punish severely, as in Mom'll draw and quarter me if even one scratch appears on her new car. This expression alludes to two brutal forms of execution practiced in the past. In one the victim was drawn by a horse to a gallows, hanged, and then cut into four pieces and scattered; in the other the victim was hanged, disemboweled while still alive ( drawn), and then beheaded and dismembered. In both the victim was said to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Today the term is usually used hyperbolically.
1. Pull out, extract, remove, as in She drew out her pen, or Let's draw some money out of the bank. [c. 1300]
2. Prolong, protract, as in This meal was drawn out over four hours. The related expression long-drawn-out means "greatly extended or protracted," as in The dinner was a long-drawn-out affair. [1500s]
3. Induce to speak freely, as in The teacher was good at drawing out the children. [Late 1700s]
1. To pull something out of some other thing: The sheriff drew a gun out of a holster. The burglar drew out a knife.
2. To lure someone or something out of some state or place: The teacher's voice drew me out of my daydream. The hunters tried to draw deer out into the open.
3. To make something longer than usual or necessary; prolong something: The emcee drew out his introduction until the performers were ready. The speaker drew the lecture out so that it would last the entire class.
4. To induce someone to speak freely: The doctor managed to draw the shy child out. The staff's kindness drew out the reserved patient.
5. To extract information from someone: The police drew out the truth from the suspect. The kids' parents drew the real story out from them.
draw and quarter
1. To execute (a prisoner) by tying each limb to a horse and driving the horses in different directions.
2. To disembowel and dismember after hanging.
3. Informal To punish severely: The teenager was drawn and quartered for wrecking the family's only car.