war of nerves, a
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.
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]
a war of nervesor
a battle of nerves
COMMON You can describe a situation as a war of nerves or a battle of nerves when two opposing people or groups try to defeat each other by making each other worried or frightened. But, in the war of nerves now going on between the two sides in the crisis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the leaders' real intentions from their propaganda tactics. It's part of the psychological warfare — the battle of nerves — that's been going on for some time.
a war of nervesa struggle in which opponents try to wear each other down by psychological means.
a ˌwar of ˈnervesan attempt to defeat your opponents by putting pressure on them so that they lose courage or confidence: A big American company is trying to take over our company; it’s a real war of nerves.
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.”