lock horns

Become embroiled in conflict, as in At the town meeting Kate and Steve locked horns over increasing the property tax. This expression alludes to how stags and bulls use their horns to fight one another. [First half of 1800s]

Words Nearby lock horns

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

How to use lock horns in a sentence

  • So when the experts lock horns, jurors toss all of their testimony out the window.

    Do Women Rape? | Marcia Clark | April 16, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Judge and attorneys would frequently lock horns; and sometimes their disputes ended violently.

  • But she gives out a kind of a smile, and her hand and mine lock horns, and I sets down by the bed—mud and spurs and chaps and all.

  • Some day, popsy-wops, that soldier will drop in at our ranch and lock horns with you on the Japanese question.

    The Pride of Palomar | Peter B. Kyne
  • Indications multiplied that before long the two great armies would lock horns, and prove which was the best man of the two.

  • It wouldn't do to lock horns with this self-satisfied despot; at any rate, not now.

    The Copper-Clad World | Harl Vincent