sabre


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saber rattling

Words and actions that seek to convey anger, power, and intimidation, often in a military setting. The leaders of these countries need to quit their sabre-rattling before we end up at war.
See also: rattling, saber

rattle (one's) saber

To make aggressive, blustering, and typically empty threats. I'd like to think that his threats of nuclear extermination are just him rattling his saber, but I'm not too sure anymore. The boss just likes to rattle her saber every now and then to make herself feel powerful.
See also: rattle, saber

saber rattling

A flamboyant display of military power; also, aggressive blustering. For example, There had been a great deal of saber rattling between the two nations but hostilities had never broken out . This term, originating about 1920 and alluding to an officer indicating he would draw his saber, at first referred to threatening military force but later was extended to more general use, as in Both candidates engaged in pre-debate saber rattling.
See also: rattling, saber

sabre-rattling

COMMON Sabre-rattling is aggressive behaviour in which threats are made, often of military action. Note: `Sabre' is spelled `saber' in American English. He accused the country of sabre-rattling and taking the first step in the trade war. Note: You can also say that someone rattles their sabre or that people rattle sabres. Still, it is good to see both sides talking, rather than rattling sabres at each other. Note: A sabre is a heavy sword with a curved blade that was used in the past by soldiers on horseback.

rattle sabres

threaten to take aggressive action.
See also: rattle, sabre
References in classic literature ?
The silence was broken only by the snapping of the wood, the crackling of the flames, the distant murmur of the camps, and the blows of the sabre given to what remained of Bichette in search of her tenderest morsels.
The major then snatched up the countess's diamonds, held them in one hand, drew his sabre with the other, and began to strike with the flat of its blade such of the sleepers as he thought the most intrepid.
The major, holding his sabre in his well hand, with his pistols in his belt, gathered up the reins with the other hand and mounted one horse while the grenadier mounted the other.
I'll sweep you into the water if you don't take the major and his two companions," cried the stalwart grenadier, who swung his sabre, stopped the departure, and forced the men to stand closer in spite of furious outcries.
Of six hundred and eighty sabres stood fast to their salt - how many, think you?
Finally, although he was sufficiently acquainted with the customs of society and with the laws of politeness, to which he conformed as rigidly as if they had been military regulations; though he had real mental power, both natural and acquired; and although he had mastered the art of handling men, the science of tactics, the theory of sabre play, and the mysteries of the farrier's craft, his learning had been prodigiously neglected.
He had left his country after some crash of debts, and now expressed his complete freedom from British etiquette by swinging about in uniform, sabre and spurs.
I'll show you," said his servant, and reappeared with a flashing naked cavalry sabre, streaked with blood about the point and edge.
Valentin took the sabre, examined it, reflected with unaffected concentration of thought, and then turned a respectful face to O'Brien.
With the yew bow and cloth-yard shaft at Cressy and Agincourt--with the brown bill and pike under the brave Lord Willoughby--with culverin and demi-culverin against Spaniards and Dutchmen--with hand-grenade and sabre, and musket and bayonet, under Rodney and St.
The Captain, with shells on his frockcoat, and a crimson sash and sabre, presented a military appearance, which made Jos quite proud to be able to claim such an acquaintance, and the stout civilian hailed him with a cordiality very different from the reception which Jos vouchsafed to his friend in Brighton and Bond Street.
He regretted the clink of sabre and spurs on a fine afternoon, the barrack-room witticisms, the girls of garrison towns; but, besides, he had also a sense of grievance.
One of the conductors of this novice held a rusty blunderbuss pointed towards his ear, and the other a very ancient sabre, with which he carved imaginary offenders as he came along in a sanguinary and anatomical manner.
To this the novice made rejoinder, that he would take the vow, though it should choke him; and it was accordingly administered with many impressive circumstances, among which the lighting up of the two skulls with a candle-end inside of each, and a great many flourishes with the bone, were chiefly conspicuous; not to mention a variety of grave exercises with the blunderbuss and sabre, and some dismal groaning by unseen 'prentices without.
I understand the 'prophet' with his sabre, on his steed: Allah commands and 'trembling' creation must obey