at daggers drawn
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at daggers drawn
Prepared to verbally or physically fight another person or group. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The police have had to intervene because those rival gangs have been at daggers drawn lately. The members of the committee are at daggers drawn because they cannot agree on a course of action.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
daggers drawn, at
Also, with daggers drawn. About to or ready to fight, as in Are Felix and Oscar still at daggers drawn over the rent? Although daggers today are rarely if ever used to avenge an insult or issue a challenge to a duel, this idiom remains current. Its figurative use dates from about 1800.
See also: dagger
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.
at daggers drawnBRITISH
If two people or groups are at daggers drawn, they are having a serious disagreement and are very angry with each other. The publishing and record divisions of the company were at daggers drawn over the simultaneous release of the book and the album. The government now finds itself at daggers drawn with the same press it had gone to such great lengths to give freedom of expression to.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
at daggers drawnin a state of bitter enmity.
The image here is of the drawing of daggers as the final stage in a confrontation before actual fighting breaks out. Although recorded in 1668 , the expression only became common from the early 19th century onwards.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017