mend (one's) fences

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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

mend one's fences

Improve poor relations; placate personal, political, or business contacts. For example, The senator always goes home weekends and spends time mending his fences. This metaphoric expression dates from an 1879 speech by Senator John Sherman in Mansfield, Ohio, to which he said he had returned "to look after my fences." Although he may have meant literally to repair the fences around his farm there, media accounts of the speech took him to mean campaigning among his constituents. In succeeding decades the term was applied to nonpolitical affairs as well.
See also: fence, mend

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
John Velazquez kept English Channel in touch in second along the rail behind Mending Fences, asking his mount for a run nearing the furlong marker before drawing clear impressively.
His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has been playing a mediation role in mending fences between the parties involved in the crisis.
"I'm seeing my kids a lot more, mending fences with [ex-wives] Denise [Richards] and Brooke [Mueller], just trying to move forward and prioritise what matters," quoted Sheen as saying.
Talabani referred that the political leaders' meeting, two days ago, was successful as it helped in mending fences and break the ice between the political rivals."
He said that the reconciliation that took place between Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is still incomplete, as the two countries have not worked on mending fences with each other since the reconciliation last year.
Chris said: "We've been feeding cows and mending fences and there's been a few deliveries of calves." Martin said: "We bring our farmer to gigs whenever he's available.
In the week since his outburst that Chelsea was a "broken" machine, he has scored twice in as many games by way of mending fences - and now Frank Lampard has joined the dressing-room chorus line hoping his retraction was more than lip service.
Japan and China have agreed to resume talks between senior Foreign Ministry officials next week in Tokyo as part of efforts aimed at mending fences with each other, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday.
Whatever the differences between the heartbroken Mr Al Fayed and the Royal family, this would have been the perfect occasion to start mending fences.
His Highness the Amir has been playing a mediation role in mending fences between the parties involved in the crisis.
Defence has revealed that it had finished mending fences with Zaetta over the claims.
After a year of mending fences and a compensation package that has topped pounds 15million the Scot believes fans, teams and sponsors should move on.