take up (the) cudgels against (someone or something)

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take up (the) cudgels against (someone or something)

To prepare for or engage in a conflict against someone or something. May or may not refer to literally arming oneself. People from across the country are taking up the cudgels against the dictatorship. We have to be willing to take up the cudgels if we ever want to loosen the grip of these greedy corporations.
See also: cudgel, take, up

take up the cudgels

or

take up the cudgel

If you take up the cudgels for someone or take up the cudgel for them, you speak or fight in support of them. The trade unions took up the cudgels for the 367 staff who were made redundant. We are hoping that the government will take up the cudgel on our behalf. Note: A cudgel was a short, thick stick that was used as a weapon in the past.
See also: cudgel, take, up

take up the cudgels

start to support someone or something strongly.
See also: cudgel, take, up

take up the cudgels

To join in a dispute, especially in defense of a participant.
See also: cudgel, take, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Newcastle Central Labour MP Mr Cousins said: "I'm delighted the Prime Minister is taking up the cudgels on this issue.
As the same situation occurred at Royal Ascot, with Henry Cecil's Sandmason winning the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at 12-1 with the Plantation Stud's other representatives, Wellbeing, out of the money as heavily supported favourite, perhaps someone will consider taking up the cudgels on coupling on behalf of the increasingly beleaguered bettor.
Taking up the cudgels for Poe, who is believed to pose a threat to the 2016 presidential bets, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the senator's disclosure of her renunciation of her US citizenship should stop the media hounding of Poe with questions on her status as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Taking up the cudgels for the accused (whose arms and legs were paralyzed and had to be carried by two people to move around), Tulfo urged the magistrates to please use just a modicum of common sense: If there was any sexual intercourse at all, the penetration could only have happened on the initiative of the woman
Taking up the cudgels for the pugs are bantamweight Mario Fernandez, middleweight Wilfredo Lopez, lightweight Junel Cantancio, Eumir Felix Marcial, Rogen Ladon and Ian Clark Bautista.