below the belt, hit


Not behave according to the rules or decency, unfairly, as in Bringing up my mother's faults—that's really hitting below the belt. The term comes from boxing, where according to the Marquis of Queensberry Rules (1865) a fighter may punch his opponent only in the upper body or head. For a synonym, see low blow; also see under one's belt.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Words nearby below the belt, hit

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.