lock horns with, to

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lock horns with, to

To engage in a fight, to clash. This transfer from the battles of stags, bulls, and other beasts that use their horns to fight is surprisingly recent, dating only from the nineteenth century. W. T. Porter used it in A Quarter Race in Kentucky (1846): “We locked horns without a word, thar all alone, and I do think we fit [fought] an hour.”
See also: horn, lock