go on the offensive

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go on the offensive

To begin attacking someone or adopting an aggressive attitude or position as a means of gaining a pre-emptive advantage. If you don't go on the offensive as soon as the debate starts, your opponent is going to walk all over you! Every time Mike and I start to fight, he immediately goes on the offensive and won't listen to my side of things.
See also: offensive, on

go on(to) the ofˈfensive

,

take the ofˈfensive

start attacking somebody/something before they start attacking you: The president decided to take the offensive by developing a new strategy to discourage competition.
See also: offensive, on