at sword's point

Idioms & Phrases

at sword's point

Also, at swords' points. Antagonistic, hostile, as in Father and son were at swords' points. Dating from the days when swords were used to settle quarrels, the idiom today generally signifies only a bitter quarrel.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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