ride roughshod over


Act without regard for the feelings or interests of others, as in She just forges on, riding roughshod over her colleagues. This term alludes to the practice of arming horses with horseshoes mounted with projecting nails or points, which both gave them better traction and served as a weapon against fallen enemy soldiers. By 1800 it was being used figuratively for bullying behavior.

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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.