give someone a bloody nose
give (one) a bloody nose
1. Literally, to punch or otherwise strike someone in the nose hard enough to cause it to bleed. I'd stay away from that kid—he gave me a bloody nose just for looking at his bike!
2. To defeat something or someone, often temporarily. All right, so you gave me a bloody nose in this week's meeting. I'm just going to do more research and come back stronger in the next one!
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.