mend (one's) fences

(redirected from mend their fences)

mend (one's) fences

To rectify a damaged relationship. After Jill heard that her father had become ill, she decided it was time for them to mend their fences before it was too late. The politician tried to mend his fences with his constituents after the scandal, but was not able to regain their trust before the next election.
See also: fence, mend

mend one's fences

Improve poor relations; placate personal, political, or business contacts. For example, The senator always goes home weekends and spends time mending his fences. This metaphoric expression dates from an 1879 speech by Senator John Sherman in Mansfield, Ohio, to which he said he had returned "to look after my fences." Although he may have meant literally to repair the fences around his farm there, media accounts of the speech took him to mean campaigning among his constituents. In succeeding decades the term was applied to nonpolitical affairs as well.
See also: fence, mend

mend fences

or

mend your fences

COMMON If you mend fences or mend your fences, you do something to improve your relationship with someone you have argued with. Yesterday he was publicly criticised for not doing enough to mend fences with his big political rival. He had managed to annoy every member of the family and thought he'd better mend his fences. Note: You can call this process fence-mending. The king is out of the country on a fence-mending mission to the European Community.
See also: fence, mend

mend (your) fences

make peace with a person.
This expression originated in the late 19th century in the USA, with reference to a member of Congress returning to his home town to keep in touch with the voters and to look after his interests there. Similar notions are conjured up by the saying good fences make good neighbours .
1994 Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin He knew assuredly he should go and mend his fences with the priest.
See also: fence, mend

mend (your) ˈfences (with somebody)

(British English) find a solution to a disagreement with somebody: Is it too late to mend fences with your brother?
See also: fence, mend

mend fences

To improve poor relations, especially in politics: "Whatever thoughts he may have entertained about mending some fences with [them] were banished" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
See also: fence, mend
References in periodicals archive ?
It is perhaps already too late for them to mend their fences in time for the European election, but if UKIP indeed do bring about a political earthquake it could be the jolt they all need.
The seven- day RSS ' Manthan Shivir', which began on Tuesday in Amravati, Maharashtra, has become a platform for all members of the Sangh Parivar to mend their fences and put up a united front in the 2014 elections.
He argued that Turkey's vocal criticism of the recent Gaza war earned Turkey the trust of Arabs, and added that Arabs will be left on their own should Israel and Turkey mend their fences and impose a political solution in Israel's favor in the peace process.
It cost the Americans millions of dollars and fulsome apologies, to mend their fences.
Before allowing the Newheart Foursquare Church to raise the roof for a new sanctuary, city officials have urged church elders and neighboring residents to mend their fences.