give (one) a bloody nose

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give (one) a bloody nose

1. Literally, to cause someone's nose to bleed, especially by striking them. Johnny was expelled after he gave one of the boys in class a bloody nose. The dry air in Colorado always gives me a bloody nose when I come to visit.
2. To inflict damage or defeat on someone during a conflict or competition. Everyone agreed that the political newcomer gave the congressman a bloody nose during their first televised debate.
See also: bloody, give, nose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone a bloody nose

BRITISH, 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.
See also: bloody, give, nose, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

give someone a bloody nose

inflict a resounding defeat on someone.
See also: bloody, give, nose, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also: