smell blood


Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to smell blood: taste blood

smell blood

1. To recognize or detect a weakness or vulnerability (especially a new one) in an opponent, adversary, or subject over which one is trying to gain an advantage. The phrase implies that such a weakness will then be acted upon to gain victory or advantage. Likened to the literal presence of blood in water detected by aquatic predators, such as sharks. The visiting squad is starting to look tired, and the home team smells blood. Look for them to try to close out the game. Do not give any indication that we are willing to settle. If we do, the attorneys will smell blood and we won't get what we want.
2. To be ready, willing, and eager to attack or fight. I could sense that the drunken mob was smelling blood, ready to inflict violence on whomever they encountered.
See also: blood, smell

smell blood

Fig. to be ready for a fight; to be ready to attack; to be ready to act. (Like sharks, which are sent into a frenzy by the smell of blood.) Lefty was surrounded, and you could tell that the guys from the other gang smelled blood. The lawyer heard the crash and came runningsmelling blood and bucks.
See also: blood, smell

smell blood

discern weakness or vulnerability in an opponent.
See also: blood, smell

smell blood

tv. to be ready for a fight; to be ready to attack; to be ready to act. (Like sharks, which are sent into a frenzy by the smell of blood.) Lefty was surrounded, and you could tell that the guys from the other gang smelled blood.
See also: blood, smell

smell blood

To sense an opportunity for advantage at someone else's expense.
See also: blood, smell
References in periodicals archive ?
They smell blood in the water and that becomes their focus for the week.
Again the Kora heart strings before me vessel arteries no blockage music is detox unplugging centuries slavery aftermath failed reconstruction terror of KKK landless betrayal of all parties to conflict jim crow post black negro neo jim crow down to Obama drama oh, kora you are the one who takes me out of here another land, a time, space, a trillion years ago a thousand million nights on the Senegal, the Congo, the Nile I am the king, I am the farmer, I am the builder, iron worker, goldsmith I am that I am soul of my soul plucker of heart dance holy dance of a thousand years leap into the forest hold the lion above heads dancers of the perfect mask terror of manhood training blood of womanhood see and smell womanhood men know smell blood of the lion.
The French and the Germans--so often the voices of stagnant conservatism in the EU--seem to smell blood.
If we can smell blood and muscle tissue, I guarantee deer can too.
The challengers smell blood in the water, thanks to the federal investigation into whether Young and Stevens accepted bribes, illegal gratuities and unreported gifts from VECO Corp.
THE world's best players can smell blood and will thrive on Roger Federer's loss of form this season, claims Radek Stepanek.
I think they smell blood in the water, and I think they got her scalp a little too easily," conservative activist Paul Weyrich told The New York Times after Chavez stepped down because she was found out to be too kind to immigrants.
Konrad Kuhn, editor of The KonLin Letter, said that "the bulls smell blood, since according to Buyins.
Reims impressed in their victory at Bordeaux and will smell blood, so they are worth supporting to small stakes.
They are going to smell blood, they'll definitely be licking their lips," said England No8 Billy Vunipola.
They will have seen our record and will smell blood - just as Broadstreet did last week.
SAINTS play Huddersfield on Friday night and there is no doubt they'll smell blood.
It is typical that the critics smell blood when there is a mistake," Sky Sports quoted Reina, as saying.
These people are like sharks, they smell blood and will pounce.