caught in the middle

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caught in the middle

In a position between two or more sides in an argument or contentious issue, often leaving one without a clear course of action to satisfy either side. When my friends broke up, I was often caught in the middle, as each one complained to me about the other.
See also: caught, middle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

caught in the middle

Also, caught in the cross-fire. Between two opposing sides, as in The writers are often caught in the middle between editor and publisher, who are political opponents , or When parents don't get along, the children are often caught in the cross-fire. Long used in military situations, these terms began to be used figuratively in the second half of the 1800s.
See also: caught, middle
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Miss Pniewska, 26, was caught in the cross-fire while two teenagers in hoodies fired at each other across a car park in New Cross, south London.