saber-rattling

[ sey-ber-rat-ling ]
/ ˈseɪ bərˌræt lɪŋ /

noun

a show or threat of military power, especially as used by a nation to impose its policies on other countries.

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Origin of saber-rattling

First recorded in 1920–25; see origin at saber, rattle1, -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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