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In conflict. A "logger" is a 16th-century term for a block of wood, so a "loggerhead" is a blockhead or fool. They are at loggerheads over the best way to lead the committee.
be at loggerheads
To be in conflict. A "logger" is a 16th-century term for a block of wood, so a "loggerhead" is a blockhead or fool. They are at loggerheads over the best way to lead the committee.
at loggerheads (with someone)and at loggerheads over something
Fig. in conflict with someone; having reached an impasse (about something). Tom is at loggerheads with Bill. We are at loggerheads with each other. The twins were at loggerheads over who should take the larger room.
Engaged in a quarrel or dispute, as in The two families were always at loggerheads, making it difficult to celebrate holidays together . This term may have come from some earlier meaning of loggerhead, referring either to a blockhead or stupid person, or to a long-handled iron poker with a bulb-shaped end that was heated in the fire and used to melt pitch. If it was the latter, it may have been alluded to as a weapon. [Late 1600s] For a synonym, see at odds.
COMMON If one person or group is at loggerheads with another, they strongly disagree about something. Social workers and doctors are at loggerheads over how well the new system will work. Trevor and his ex-wife Becky ended up at loggerheads — this time having a shouting match on the doorstep. Note: In medieval times, loggerheads were implements with long handles and a round bowl on one end. In battles, the bowl was filled with hot tar, and then thrown at the enemy.
at loggerheadsin violent dispute or disagreement.
This expression is possibly a use of loggerhead in the late 17th-century sense of ‘a long-handled iron instrument for heating liquids and tar’; the tool was perhaps also used as a weapon.
at ˈloggerheads (with somebody) (over something)disagreeing or arguing very strongly (with somebody): The students are at loggerheads with the college over the price of food in the cafeteria. ♢ Management and staff are at loggerheads over the plan.In the past, a loggerhead was a long iron instrument which may have been used as a weapon.
Engaged in a dispute: The question of car privileges put Sam and his parents at loggerheads.
at loggerheads, to be
To disagree, dispute, or quarrel. A logger was a heavy wooden block, and one meaning of “loggerhead” is “blockhead,” a stupid person or dolt. Possibly this meaning led to the phrase “at loggerheads,” with the idea that only dolts would engage in a quarrel. Shakespeare used the word as an adjective in The Taming of the Shrew (4.1): “You loggerheaded and unpolish’d grooms.” The full current expression appeared in the late seventeenth century.