Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A strong argument that eliminates all opposition. I really want to win the debate next week, so I'm preparing a real sledge-hammer argument.
See also: argument
use a sledgehammer to crack a nut
To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government has employed a steam engine to crack a nut: four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish.
a sledgehammer to crack a nutBRITISH
If someone uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut, they use methods to solve a problem that are far more extreme than is necessary. The widespread campaign by the government to reduce childhood obesity is, she says, using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Bankers say that the proposed law is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Note: People sometimes replace sledgehammer with hammer. Robbins's film takes a large hammer to crack a familiar nut. Compare with be breaking a butterfly on a wheel. Note: A sledgehammer is a large heavy hammer which is used for smashing rocks and concrete.
take (or use) a sledgehammer to crack a nutuse disproportionately forceful means to achieve a simple objective.
A sledgehammer is a large, heavy hammer used for such jobs as breaking up rocks and driving in fence posts.
1998 New Scientist Fighting tooth decay by annihilating mostly harmless bacteria in your mouth is like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.