ride roughshod over

roughshod

[ruhf-shod]
adjective
1.
shod with horseshoes having projecting nails or points.
Idioms
2.
ride roughshod over, to treat harshly or domineeringly; override; crush: He rode roughshod over his friends to advance himself in the business world.

Origin:
1680–90; rough + shod

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
roughshod (ˈrʌfˌʃɒd)
 
adj
1.  (of a horse) shod with rough-bottomed shoes to prevent sliding
 
adv
2.  ride roughshod over to domineer over or act with complete disregard for

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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.

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