turn the scale(s)(redirected from they turned the scales)
turn the scale(s)
To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will turn the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has turned the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tip/turn the scales, to
To change the balance slightly so as to favor one side. The idea was expressed as long ago as Aristotle’s Politics (ca. 340 b.c.), in which he wrote “The addition of the middle class turns the scale and prevents either of the extremes from being dominant” (Benjamin Jowett translation, ca. 1875). Jowett’s wording may have been influenced by William Wordsworth’s “Ode” (1815): “Thy presence turns the scale of doubtful fight, / Tremendous God of battles, Lord of Hosts!”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer