mend fences

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Related to mend fences: gunning for, without a hitch, worse for wear

mend (one's) fences

To rectify a damaged relationship. After Jill heard that her father had become ill, she decided it was time for them to mend their fences before it was too late. The politician tried to mend his fences with his constituents after the scandal, but was not able to regain their trust before the next election.
See also: fence, mend
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mend fences


mend your fences

COMMON If you mend fences or mend your fences, you do something to improve your relationship with someone you have argued with. Yesterday he was publicly criticised for not doing enough to mend fences with his big political rival. He had managed to annoy every member of the family and thought he'd better mend his fences. Note: You can call this process fence-mending. The king is out of the country on a fence-mending mission to the European Community.
See also: fence, mend
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

mend (your) fences

make peace with a person.
This expression originated in the late 19th century in the USA, with reference to a member of Congress returning to his home town to keep in touch with the voters and to look after his interests there. Similar notions are conjured up by the saying good fences make good neighbours .
1994 Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin He knew assuredly he should go and mend his fences with the priest.
See also: fence, mend
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mend (your) ˈfences (with somebody)

(British English) find a solution to a disagreement with somebody: Is it too late to mend fences with your brother?
See also: fence, mend
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mend fences

To improve poor relations, especially in politics: "Whatever thoughts he may have entertained about mending some fences with [them] were banished" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
See also: fence, mend
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mend one's fences, to

To strengthen one’s position by reestablishing good relations among one’s supporters. The term apparently came from a speech by Sen. John Sherman to his neighbors and friends in 1879 in Mansfield, Ohio, in which he said, “I have come home to look after my fences,” presumably literally meaning the fences around his farm there. (Indeed, mending fences is a major and time-consuming chore for nearly all American farmers.) However, the newspaper reports of the speech interpreted it as a political statement that meant Sherman was really home to campaign among his constituents. The term continued to be used in this way, with repair and mend substituted for look after. In the twentieth century it was broadened to mean placating personal, business, or professional contacts who might have felt neglected or offended and trying to regain their support. Vice President Al Gore used it after his defeat in the 2000 presidential election, saying he planned to mend his fences.
See also: mend, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The columnist added that Jumblat's reconciliation with Shiites and the opposition-aligned Free Patriotic Movement led by Christian leader Michel Aoun signified that the Druze leader was trying to build new alliances in order to mend fences with Syria.
Families hoping to mend fences with Nexus bosses will have to wait to see if they have won their argument.
The incident comes at a time when PA Pres Arafat, is trying to mend fences with his most influential critics, including Mohammad Dahlan, the Gaza strongman widely accused of being behind the unrest in June.
White represents a fresh start for UI, and is being counted on to mend fences with disgruntled parties, especially disappointed alumni.
They contend that the sharp break from traditional policy exemplifies Fox's desire to mend fences broken by Mexico's refusal to support the U.S.-led invasion.
It sounds like you need to mend fences with the human resources manager."
Mr Blair flew into St Petersburg from Poland, where he made a plea for Europe and the US to mend fences at a "crucial moment'' for their relationship.
He wants to mend fences with America's European allies and press the case for sharing the vast cost of reconstruction in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled.
Perkins, currently head of the Alliance, said he tried to mend fences with O'Malley but was rebuffed.
Both nations now are working to mend fences. China recently released two imprisoned scholars at the request of the U.S.
It proceeded to mend fences with Protestants, Jews, and other religions.
Hell also need to mend fences with opposition politicians: his party failed to grab a two-thirds majority in Congress.
Jay Dickey, R-Ark., tried to mend fences with the black farmers of his south Arkansas district by introducing a resolution into Congress that asked the government to expedite paying the money it owes black farmers for past discrimination.
"If China and Taiwan mend fences, the combination of Taiwan's money and expertise and China's labor force could lead to a strong, economic force.
A "professional beggar and scrounger of money," as Ellis says, the Trust supports communities and agencies in their efforts to mend fences and raise funds to keep I-90 green.