a show of force
Also found in: Wikipedia.
show of force
A display of one's power, influence, or capability to cause harm, meant to act as a warning or deterrent to others. The president said that such a show of force will be treated as an act of aggression by the foreign country and could lead to a declaration of war. The march by union organizers is intended as a show of force to politicians threatening to weaken their bargaining powers.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a show of ˈforcean act which clearly shows your power or gives a warning to people not to act against you: The government sent in tanks as a show of force, and the rebels left the town.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017