lock horns

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lock horns

To fight or clash. There's always tension between those two—they lock horns over everything.
See also: horn, lock

lock horns (with someone)

Fig. to get into an argument with someone. Let's settle this peacefully. I don't want to lock horns with the boss. The boss doesn't want to lock horns either.
See also: horn, lock

lock horns

Become embroiled in conflict, as in At the town meeting Kate and Steve locked horns over increasing the property tax. This expression alludes to how stags and bulls use their horns to fight one another. [First half of 1800s]
See also: horn, lock

lock horns

If you lock horns with someone, you argue or fight with them. He has often locked horns with lawmakers as well as the administration. In Manhattan's densely built real estate market, developers and preservationists often lock horns. Note: The reference here is to two male animals, such as deer, fighting over a female and getting their horns caught together or `locked'.
See also: horn, lock

lock horns

engage in conflict.
The image here is of two bulls fighting head-to-head with their horns. Both the literal and figurative senses of the phrase originated in the USA, in the mid 19th century.
See also: horn, lock

ˌlock ˈhorns (with somebody) (over something)

argue or fight with somebody: The lawyers did not want to lock horns with the judge.This idiom refers to the way that animals such as bulls, stags (= male deer), etc. fight with their horns or antlers.
See also: horn, lock

lock horns

To become embroiled in conflict.
See also: horn, lock

lock horns

To get into an argument. Two deer, moose, or members of another antlered species who have a dispute they want to settle will face off, paw the ground, and charge at each other. Their antlers clash and often become enmeshed. They have locked horns. People who have a bone to pick can be said to lock horns too. The phrase appears in an 1865 poem by Algernon Swinburne to describe the domestic disagreement of a heifer and her mate locking horns.
See also: horn, lock
References in periodicals archive ?
'We're locking horns about different things and things seem to be going really well.
And he has brought to heel peevish local executives who were locking horns with current Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
HEAD FOR THE HILLS--KING OF THE ROAD 2004 IS ALMOST HERE with Zero, Girl and Almost locking horns with defending champs Real (plus guest TNT) for the cross-country retard-a-thon rifle royale.
was locking horns with delegates from 40 other countries at a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Only Francie Huber, in a thigh-slapping solo, and Patrick Corbin, locking horns with Viola, had the requisite bite.
Even twins John and Edward have been locking horns as the pressure mounts.