all's fair in love and war

Idioms & Phrases

all's fair in love and war

Any conduct is permissible in certain circumstances, as in Of course he called herall's fair in love and war. This maxim, stated in various forms from 1579 on, today sometimes appears altered by an addition or substitution, as in All's fair in love and the World Series, or All's fair in love and war and an election year.

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