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war of nerves

noun
1.
a conflict using psychological techniques, as propaganda, threats, and false rumors, rather than direct violence, in order to confuse, thwart, or intimidate an enemy.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for war nerves

war of nerves

noun
1.
the use of psychological tactics against an opponent, such as shattering his morale by the use of propaganda
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with war nerves

war of nerves

A conflict characterized by psychological pressure such as threats and rumors, aiming to undermine an enemy's morale. For example, Her lawyer said the university had waged a war of nerves to persuade his client to resign. This expression alludes to tactics used in World War II. [ Late 1930s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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