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 ?
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.