swords to plowshares


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swords to plowshares

1. The notion of converting military forces, technologies, or ideas into peaceful purposes. A shortening of the phrase "beat swords into plowshares" from the Bible. (Spelled "ploughshare" in British English.) Primarily heard in UK. The program aims to collect disused or surplus military equipment and put them to use in public health clinics in developing countries—swords to plowshares, if you will.
2. By extension, the abstention from destructive activities, such as war and violence, in favor of peaceful, constructive activities. We must adopt a swords-to-plowshares mentality if our children are ever to inherit a world worth living in.
See also: plowshare, sword, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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