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rattle its saber Go

to rattle one's saber.
See also: rattle, saber

rattle one's saber

 and rattle its saber
Fig. to make threatening statements or actions. The president is just rattling his saber. He would never attack such a small country!
See also: rattle, saber


  (British, American & Australian) also saber-rattling (American)
threatening behaviour which is intended to frighten someone After months of sabre-rattling, the two sides have agreed to a peaceful resolution of their differences.

saber rattling

A flamboyant display of military power; also, aggressive blustering. For example, There had been a great deal of saber rattling between the two nations but hostilities had never broken out . This term, originating about 1920 and alluding to an officer indicating he would draw his saber, at first referred to threatening military force but later was extended to more general use, as in Both candidates engaged in pre-debate saber rattling.
See also: rattling, saber