win the battle, but lose the war

win the battle, but lose the war

If you win the battle, but lose the war, you achieve a small thing but in achieving that, lose or fail to get something which is more important. The strikers may have won the battle, but they lost the war. Note: You can also say that you lose the battle, but win the war, meaning the opposite. Betty Hyde may have lost the battle, but she won the war and took her business to another bank.
See also: but, lose, war, win