big stick


Definition of big stick

: threat especially of military or political intervention

Examples of big stick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dangled over the counties’ heads is a big stick: the possibility of the state placing greater restrictions on them. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Sports paused, sorority party canceled, curfews eyed: News from around our 50 states," 19 Nov. 2020 But unlike many other Republicans for whom the big stick is the tool of first resort for protecting America’s interests abroad, Ruger would also carry a bigger diplomatic toolbox with him abroad. Michael C. Desch, National Review, "A Prudent Internationalist for Ambassador to Afghanistan," 21 Sep. 2020 As an emerging great power, India must carry its own big stick. CNN, "Beijing's military adventurism in the Himalayas is risky. The world is big enough for the rise of India and China," 4 June 2020 One of the biggest sticking points for Democrats in the negotiations was a seeming lack of oversight for big businesses receiving loans from a $500 billion fund. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Senate appears close to a deal over massive coronavirus stimulus bill," 24 Mar. 2020 Imagine a rally of Trump supporters and 15 anti-Trump protesters came with big sticks and mace? Los Angeles Times, "Man charged in bear-repellent attack on Trump protesters at Santa Monica Pier," 22 Oct. 2019 The Trump administration’s demand that punitive tariffs remain to ensure Beijing enacts genuine overhauls has emerged as one of the biggest sticking points, as U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators opened new face-to-face talks aimed at a deal. Bob Davis, WSJ, "Tariffs Take Center Stage in U.S.-China Trade Talks," 3 Apr. 2019 The former 15th-round pick out of Wichita State is batting .259 with 30 homers and 20 steals, flashing five-tool ability with lefty power that could immediately reinforce a Colorado bench that’s thin on big sticks. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman: If Rockies are serious about assessing for 2020, here’s the prospects they need to call up this year," 13 Aug. 2019 Holding him back: Portrush is the unknown for so many and at over 7,300 yards will call on the big stick. Geoff Shackelford, azcentral, "British Open: 10 players to watch this week," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big stick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of big stick

1893, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for big stick

Time Traveler

The first known use of big stick was in 1893

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Statistics for big stick

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Big stick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for big stick

big stick


English Language Learners Definition of big stick

: a threat to use violence or force to make a person, group, country, etc., do something

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