big stick

noun

Definition of big stick

: threat especially of military or political intervention

Examples of big stick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those carrots were overshadowed by the hospitals’ big stick — the threat of losing employment without vaccination. oregonlive, 16 Oct. 2021 Smith speaks softly but carries a big stick and a bigger punch, one of the few on the team who will take an opponent to task for taking liberties with the Wings' best players. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 14 Sep. 2021 Speak softly and carry a big stick, a famous soldier turned politician once said. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 19 July 2021 Earlier this season designated hitter and big stick-toting cleanup man Ivan Melendez went on a rampage, blasting seven home runs in a six-game span. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 25 June 2021 If every walk around the neighborhood or hike through the woods has your dog carrying home a big stick, take heart, this doggie-favorite activity is quite common. Jennifer Nelson, Southern Living, 16 June 2021 Those that don’t like the sound of Yellen’s proposals may think about accelerating their plans for whittling down that big stick. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 10 Apr. 2021 Biden would do well to remember old American diplomatic adages about speaking softly while carrying a big stick, keeping China and Russia apart, being no better friend (or worse enemy), and letting sleeping dogs lie. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 15 Apr. 2021 That endpoint sounds strikingly like what Trump wanted, despite Biden’s frequent criticism of his predecessor’s stance and without the leverage of Trump’s big stick. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, 25 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of big stick

1893, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About big stick

Time Traveler for big stick

Time Traveler

The first known use of big stick was in 1893

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near big stick

Big Steel

big stick

Big Stone

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for big stick

Last Updated

30 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Big stick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/big%20stick. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for big stick

big stick

noun

English Language Learners Definition of big stick

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!