fight shy of
Avoid meeting or confronting someone, as in “I have ... had to fight shy of invitations that would exhaust time and spirits” (Washington Irving, Life and Letters, 1821). This usage may allude to a military reluctance to meet or engage with the enemy. [Late 1700s]
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How to use fight shy of in a sentence
Gay marriage was the hot-button fight on the left and right.
Iraq may have been an irregular fight, but it had major moments.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War|Nancy A. Youssef|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His peers remember him as a bright man who spoke softly and occasionally came across as a bit shy.
The U.S. military is finally starting to train Iraqi troops to fight ISIS in restive Anbar province.Pentagon Insider on New Plan to Fight ISIS: ‘Of Course It’s Not Enough’|Nancy A. Youssef|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She says she will have to fight in “other ways” to get her client freed.
It was more like the boarding of a ship than any land fight I had ever seen or imagined.
The fight lasted two days, and only two men out of the five hundred escaped with their lives.
But they soon fell out, for Murat had the audacity to try and make these patriots fight instead of merely seeking plunder.Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison
Possibly, he would not shy at such monstrosities after twenty miles of a lathering ride.
It was found afterwards that the rebels meant to fight the two British forces in detail before they could effect a junction.