fly in the face of

Idioms & Phrases

fly in the face of

Also, fly in the teeth of. Act in direct opposition to or defiance of. For example, This decision flies in the face of all precedent, or They went out without permission, flying in the teeth of house rules. This metaphoric expression alludes to a physical attack. [Mid-1500s]

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