war of nerves

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Related to war of nerves: a paper tiger

a war of nerves

Psychological warfare used to wear down an adversary's resolve through fear tactics. The dictator's threats against the sovereign nation he was trying to conquer became a war of nerves as the citizens worried about the future of their country.
See also: nerve, of, war

war of nerves

A conflict characterized by psychological pressure such as threats and rumors, aiming to undermine an enemy's morale. For example, Her lawyer said the university had waged a war of nerves to persuade his client to resign . This expression alludes to tactics used in World War II. [Late 1930s]
See also: nerve, of, war

war of nerves, a

A conflict that employs psychological techniques rather than direct violence. This term, which refers to a barrage of propaganda, threats, false rumors, and sabotage calculated to undermine the enemy’s morale, came into being in the mid-twentieth century. Edith Simon used it in The Past Masters (1953): “War of nerves . . . best thing is to take no notice.”
See also: of, war
References in periodicals archive ?
On A War of Nerves see also: Lerner, 2001; Leese, 2004.
Manager Lennie Lawrence has won his war of nerves with Rotherham United and will today sign target man Alan Lee for pounds 850,000.
END WAR OF NERVES (IHT/Asahi as translated from the Japanese-language Asahi Shimbun's editorial published Jan.
RING legend Sugar Ray Leonard is backing Lennox Lewis to win the war of nerves against Mike Tyson.
Before the Coen brothers, Elia Kazan's Wild River (1960) detailed the war of nerves between a young TVA official and an elderly woman who refuses to sell her property.
MOSCOW The war of nerves between top Russian media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky and the Russian government continued last week, with no sign that either side is ready to give an inch.
Recently returned from a visit to Beijing, he found his counterparts in mainland think tanks geared up for a sustained war of nerves.
A few days after a war of nerves, Hong accepted the invitation.
A war of nerves is going on and it is hoped that despite our internal weaknesses, the policy and decision-makers would not accept conditions for cooperation that are affront to our national interests.
So far, this is mainly a war of nerves, but it could easily turn nasty.
In October, a similar war of nerves led the two sides to terminate an agreement to expand their total swap arrangement to $70 billion from $13 billion.
Israel and Iran Are Fighting a War of Nerves [Haaretz]
But the Tartan Army lapped it up at Parkhead as Kevin Gallacher's opener just before the break and Gordon Durie's clincher 10 minutes from time (above) won the war of nerves to see off Latvia 2-0.
A WAR of nerves broke out yesterday in the districts of Larnaca and Famagusta over the world of waste disposal after rubbish chiefs turned tough on debtors.
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