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take the bull by the horns

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Take the initiative in confronting a difficult position: “You'll never decide what you want in life by just thinking about it; you must take the bull by the horns and try out a few possibilities.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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take the bull by the horns

Confront a problem head-on, as in We'll have to take the bull by the horns and tackle the Medicare question. This term most likely alludes to grasping a safely tethered bull, not one the matador is fighting in the ring. [c. 1800]

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