take up the cudgel(s)

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take up the cudgel(s)

To defend, show strong support for, or argue on behalf of someone or something. Often followed by "for" or "on behalf of." People from across the country are taking up cudgels on behalf of the young man being held by police. He's got plenty of money to hire a proper legal team. I don't think he needs the likes of us taking up the cudgel.
See also: take, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

take up the cudgels

start to support someone or something strongly.
See also: cudgel, take, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take up the cudgels

To join in a dispute, especially in defense of a participant.
See also: cudgel, take, up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The religious right, naturally, took up the cudgels in her defense.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) took up the cudgels for its chair, Sen.
We took up the cudgels with Ryanair, who did the decent thing.
Several senators, however, took up the cudgels for the President, saying the public should 'get used to' his manner of speaking as it had long been Mr.
Steve's father, Stan Braycotton, took up the cudgels on his behalf and contacted Sorted.
We took up the cudgels on her behalf and are happy to say that the matter has been successfully resolved.
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