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the old guard
The established, longtime members of a country, organization, or ideological position, who are resistant to any change within that arena. There are a lot of good ideas being proposed, but the old guard of the party have resisted their adoption.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
the old guard
COMMON If you call a group of people the old guard, you mean they have worked in an organization for a very long time. Note: Your guard is the position that you get in when you are ready to defend yourself in sports such as boxing or fencing. The reforms were fiercely opposed by many in the ruling party's old guard. The company's old guard is at last stepping aside, making way for a new, more youthful team. Note: You often use this expression to show that you disapprove of such people because they are unwilling to accept new ideas or practices. Note: The original `Old Guard' consisted of the most experienced regiments of Napoleon Bonaparte's Imperial Guard. These soldiers were considered to be the best in the French army.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
the ˌold ˈguardthe original or older members of a group or an organization, who are often against change but whose ideas and ways of working are being replaced: The old guard in European politics is being challenged by fresh new ideas.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
The established, conservative members of any movement or party, who tend to resist any change. The term is a translation of Vieille Garde (French for “old guard”), the name given to Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, who were the elite veteran regiments of his army and intensely loyal to him. It was they who made the last French charge at Waterloo. The name began to be used for American political conservatives in the early 1840s.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer