all's fair in love and war

Definition of all's fair in love and war

used to describe a situation in which people do not follow the usual rules of behavior and do things that are normally considered unfair
  • Sure, it was underhanded to steal his customers, but all's fair in love and war.

Word by Word Definitions

all play
  1. : the whole amount, quantity, or extent of

  2. : as much as possible

  3. : every member or individual component of

  1. : wholly, quite

  2. : selected as the best (as at a sport) within an area or organization

  3. : only, exclusively

  1. : the whole number, quantity, or amount : totality

  2. used in such phrases as for all I know, for all I care, and for all the good it does to indicate a lack of knowledge, interest, or effectiveness

  3. : everybody, everything

  1. : the whole of one's possessions, resources, or energy

  1. : other : different : atypical

  2. : isomeric form or variety of (a specified chemical compound)

  3. : being one of a group whose members together constitute a structural unit especially of a language

fair play
  1. : pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality

  2. : superficially pleasing : specious

  3. : clean, pure

  1. : beauty, fairness

  2. : something that is fair or fortunate (see 1fair)

  3. : woman

  1. : in a manner that is honest or impartial or that conforms to rules : in a fair manner

  2. : fairly

  1. : clear

  2. : to join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly

  1. : a gathering of buyers and sellers at a particular place and time for trade

  2. : a competitive exhibition usually with accompanying entertainment and amusements

  3. : an exhibition designed to acquaint prospective buyers or the general public with a product

love play
  1. : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

  2. : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers

  3. : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

  1. : to hold dear : cherish

  2. : to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for

  3. : caress

war play
  1. : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations

  2. : a period of such armed conflict

  3. : state of war

  1. : to be in active or vigorous conflict

  2. : to engage in warfare

  1. : worse

  1. : worst, overcome


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