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might makes right

Superior strength can enforce one's will or dictate justice, as in The generals dismissed the parliament and imprisoned the premier—might makes right in that country, or The big boys wouldn't let the little ones use the basketball, a case of might makes right. This expression was first recorded in English about 1327.

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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.