big stick

See synonyms for big stick on
  1. force, especially political or military, used by a government as a means of influence.

Origin of big stick

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900

Words Nearby big stick Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use big stick in a sentence

  • And though she talked softly on those First Lady tours Hillary could also carry a big stick.

  • I had a big stick with me—about six foot long it was—and did sometimes to beat fuzz with; so I takes the stick by one end.

    The Chequers | James Runciman
  • But the old crosspatch never says a word when one comes near him to talk; all he does is to come along with his big stick.

    Maezli | Johanna Spyri
  • He was a young man, with a big pipe in his mouth, a big stick in his hand, and a big knapsack on his back.

    Down the Rhine | Oliver Optic
  • The big stick leant against the end of the wall, just between us, nearer to my hand than his.

    Witching Hill | E. W. Hornung
  • This little creature belongs to the "Knowitall" class and has no fear, often perching on the "big stick" itself.

British Dictionary definitions for big stick

big stick

  1. informal force or the threat of using force

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012