take the bull by the horns, to

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Related to To take the bull by the horns: grab the bull by its horns

take the bull by the horns

To approach, confront, or deal with a problem or difficult situation directly and with clear, confident action. I took the bull by the horns and confronted my manager about the blatant sexism in the office. You've been complaining about being out of work for too long—it's time to take the bull by the horns and go find a job.
See also: bull, by, horn, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take the bull by the horns

Fig. to confront a problem head-on and deal with it openly. It's time to take the bull by the horns and get this job done.
See also: bull, by, horn, take
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take the bull by the horns

Confront a problem head-on, as in We'll have to take the bull by the horns and tackle the Medicare question. This term most likely alludes to grasping a safely tethered bull, not one the matador is fighting in the ring. [c. 1800]
See also: bull, by, horn, take
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

take the bull by the horns

If you take the bull by the horns, you act with determination to deal with a difficult situation. This is the time to take the bull by the horns and tackle the complex issues of finance. Note: Verbs such as grasp, grab and seize are sometimes used instead of take. If marriage is what you truly want, you may have to seize the bull by the horns. Note: In bullfighting, the matador sometimes grasps the bull's horns before killing it.
See also: bull, by, horn, take
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

take (or grab) the bull by the horns

deal bravely and decisively with a difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant situation.
2000 Andrew Calcutt Brit Cult The government has failed to take the bull by the horns, thereby granting ‘hunt sabs’ a new lease of life.
See also: bull, by, horn, take
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take the ˌbull by the ˈhorns

(informal) deal with a difficult or dangerous situation in a direct and brave way: I decided to take the bull by the horns and ask the bank for a loan.
See also: bull, by, horn, take
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take the bull by the horns, to

To meet a difficulty head-on. The analogy to a matador who actually seizes a bull by the horns in order to wrestle it to the ground seems a little far-fetched but is often cited. A more likely origin is the barnyard, where a safely tethered bull could indeed be so grasped. The transfer to meeting other kinds of difficulty had taken place by 1800 or so. “It would never do to take the bull by the horns in that manner,” warned John Galt (The Provost, 1822).
See also: bull, by, take
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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