draw (the) battle lines

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draw (the) battle lines

To clearly distinguish the sides of an argument or conflict and become ready to argue, battle, etc. The union and management seem to have drawn the battle lines in this nasty contract dispute.
See also: battle, draw, line
References in periodicals archive ?
The debate over the cuts, which will take effect just weeks before the general election in 2015, draws the battle lines for that vote as Labour and the ruling Conservatives try to prove their economic credentials to the public.
While Anji (Sunetra Sarker) falls madly in lust with junior doctor Callum, Kate (Kaye Wragg) draws the battle lines with ward sister Clare.
While Anji, (Sunetra Sarker), falls madly in lust with junior doctor Callum, Kate, (Kaye Wragg), draws the battle lines with ward sister Clare.
The Fundamentals of Extremism draws the battle lines in this culture war and presents an unambiguous argument for which side Humanists need to take.
Elsewhere, Ellie draws the battle lines with Dan, who is slowly being dragged into Ronnie's murky underworld.