grant no quarter(redirected from give someone no quarter)
grant (someone) no quarter
To offer (someone) no mercy, concession, indulgence, or leeway. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so go out there and grant them no quarter! Our boss grants no quarter when it comes to the standards of our projects.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
grant someone no quarterand give someone no quarter
Fig. not to allow someone any mercy or indulgence. (Originally meant to refuse to imprison and simply to kill one's prisoner.) The professor was harsh on lazy students. During class, he granted them no quarter.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
grant no quarter
Show no mercy. This term comes from the ancient practice of sparing the life of an enemy who has come into one’s power, which was described as giving or granting quarter. Granting no quarter meant they were killed. The meaning of “quarter” has been disputed. The most likely explanation lies in “quarters” in the sense of “barracks,” a use of the word since the late sixteenth century. To grant no quarter thus meant to provide no housing for prisoners, who of course would not need it if they were dead. Wrote Nathan Bailey in 1725 (trans. Erasmus’ Colloquies), “It is grown into a proverb, I’ll give you no more quarter than a dog does a wolf.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer