paper tiger

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paper tiger

A nation or organization that gives the impression that it is threatening or powerful when, in reality, is not. Many people see North Korea as nothing more than a paper tiger, despite its threats against other countries. The new management team tries to command respect through lots of blustery speeches, but all of us workers just see it as a paper tiger.
See also: paper, tiger

a paper tiger

If you describe a person, country, or organization as a paper tiger, you mean that although they seem to be powerful, they do not really have any power. Unless the assembly has the power to fire the mayor, it will prove to be nothing but a paper tiger. She had shown the country to be a paper tiger, incapable of defending its territories. Note: This is an old Chinese expression which Chairman Mao applied to the United States in the 1950s.
See also: paper, tiger

a paper tiger

an apparently dangerous but actually ineffectual person or thing.
This expression became well known in the West from its use by Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist leader. In an interview in 1946 , he expressed the view that ‘all reactionaries are paper tigers’.
1998 Oldie We fear that the Rail Regulator and the Consultative Committee are paper tigers and a waste of time.
See also: paper, tiger

a ˌpaper ˈtiger

a person or thing that is less strong, powerful, dangerous, etc. than they/it appears: He claimed that the enemies of his party were paper tigers and not to be feared.This is a translation of a Chinese expression that became well known when it was used by Mao Zedong.
See also: paper, tiger

paper tiger

Something that appears dangerous but is not. The phrase comes from a Chinese expression that means what it does in English—something or someone that is all bark but no bite. The phrase is often used in international diplomacy to describe a nation that makes threats but is unlikely to back them up with action.
See also: paper, tiger
References in periodicals archive ?
Download: Paper Tigers, Winter Song, Good And Gone, Spirit
In contrast, China's state-owned enterprises and private state-favored darlings, the "paper tigers" of Fuller's argument, languish in the arms of state support, gluttonously consuming resources without investing in technological advancement.
All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful.
The most common concern of the Lokayuktas face seems to be the non- implementation of their recommendations by state governments reducing them to mere " paper tigers." While Justice ( Retd) N.
Kolkata, on the other hand, will be desperate for their star-studded batting line-up to get their act together in an attempt to shed the tag of paper tigers that has been associated with the image of the team for way too long now.
The Open House presenter, who has just published her autobiography Paper Tigers, said she remembered the heartache of seeing her father's coffin going into wet ground.
That it takes the USA's premier financial paper to break a story of such paramount importance says it all about America's tame paper tigers.
TH we wh Com E tru bar A ?All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful.
And there are cases of adivasis being driven out of land earmarked for tigers and paper tigers -- only to find poachers, smugglers and tourists having a field day.
But this is Hull and, despite this battlecry before every game, Steve Bruce's side have been paper Tigers at home.
The high- power Congress Working Committee meeting on Friday is expected to discuss the growing Sena menace and steps to tame the Thackerays, whom senior party leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday described as " paper tigers".
so what of the graft if they are paper tigers who are not worth a jot.