all's fair in love and war


Also found in: Acronyms.

all is fair in love and war

Otherwise questionable actions are acceptable under extenuating circumstances. Often written as "all's fair in love and war." A: "I can't believe you took credit for my idea just so you would look good to the boss!" B: "Come on, all is fair in love and war!"
See also: all, and, fair, love, war

all's fair in love and war

A phrase used to justify behavior that could be considered unsavory, unethical, or unfair. So I had to flatter the boss in order to get that big promotion. All's fair in love and war, right? I told Jeff that Mary had a boyfriend because I wanted to ask her out first. Say what you will, but all's fair in love and war!
See also: and, fair, love, war

All's fair in love and war.

Prov. Cliché In some situations, such as when you are in love or waging war, you are allowed to be deceitful in order to get what you want. (Often said as an excuse for deception.) I cheated on the entrance exam, but I really want to get into that school, and all's fair in love and war. To get Judy to go out with him, Bob lied and told her that her boyfriend was seeing another woman. All's fair in love and war.
See also: and, fair, love, war

all's fair in love and war

Any conduct is permissible in certain circumstances, as in Of course he called her-all's fair in love and war. This maxim, stated in various forms from 1579 on, today sometimes appears altered by an addition or substitution, as in All's fair in love and the World Series, or All's fair in love and war and an election year.
See also: and, fair, love, war

all's fair in love and war

In a competition or contest, people say all's fair in love and war to suggest that in difficult circumstances any kind of behaviour is acceptable. He appears to live by the credo that all's fair in love and war. So being cruel to wives isn't wrong.
See also: and, fair, love, war

all’s fair in love and ˈwar

(saying) normal rules of behaviour do not apply in situations like war and love: ‘I told Sarah that John had another girlfriend.’ ‘But that’s not true; he hasn’t.’ ‘I know, but all’s fair in love and war.’
This is often used with other words to make new expressions, for example all ’s fair in friendship and business.
See also: and, fair, love, war

all's fair in love and war

Any tactic or strategy is permissible. The idea was expressed for centuries by numerous writers, from Chaucer (Troilus and Criseyde) to Maxwell Anderson (What Price Glory?). Modern versions sometimes add or substitute another enterprise, such as “in love and war and politics” (George Ade), or “in love and tennis (or any other competitive sport).”
See also: and, fair, love, war
References in periodicals archive ?
ALL'S fair in love and war - and maybe in trade as well if an innovative North Wales company is anything to go by.
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All's fair in love and war - as Martinez has unwittingly found out after being represented as a Benitez foot-soldier.
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All's fair in love and war - until the injured party turns out to be you.
All's fair in love and war etc Oh no, I hate that phrase!
ALL'S fair in love and war, especially when there is a three million dollar divorce settlement at stake.
ALL'S fair in love and war, especially when there is a EUR3 million divorce settlement at stake.
All's fair in love and war,but in politics it is more war than love.
In Donald Petrie's effervescent comedy, a beautiful young singleton and her beau discover that all's fair in love and war. Until somebody gets hurt.
In Donald Petrie's charming and effervescent romantic comedy, a beautiful twentysomething singleton and her beau discover that all's fair in love and war ...
The battle to win Nick's affections makes them all face up to some home truths as they discover that all's fair in love and war.