give someone a bloody nose
give someone a bloody noseBRITISH, JOURNALISM
If you give someone a bloody nose in an election, competition or war, you defeat them or harm them. Elections provide an opportunity for voters to give the government a bloody nose. They promised to give the military a bloody nose if it continues its policy of repression. Note: You can also say that a person or a side gets a bloody nose. The Chancellor got a bloody nose in the recent regional election. Note: A bloody nose is used in several other structures with the same meaning. The government last night admitted that it had received a bloody nose from voters after suffering a crushing defeat in the byelection. We sent the enemy home with a bloody nose.