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make a stand

Hold firm against something or someone, as in The government was determined to make a stand against all forms of terrorism. This idiom transfers the early meaning of holding ground against an enemy to other issues. [c. 1600]

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