bloody shirt


: something intended to stir up or revive partisan animosity
usually used in the phrase wave the bloody shirt

Examples of bloody shirt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Maury County Sheriff Luther Wiley claimed that Choate had changed a bloody shirt and hid a .22-caliber pistol used to club the White girl. Timothy Bella, Anchorage Daily News, 19 July 2023 Now remember, the defense suggested that tossing this bloody shirt may have caused some of the blood spatter in the bedroom. CBS News, 16 Apr. 2022 You’re never supposed to wave a bloody shirt. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 Activists in Lower Manhattan have found that the best way to thwart resistance to their plans is to wave the climate-change banner, today’s bloody shirt. Jon Pepper, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2022 One of the protesters’ iconic blue tents is on display, as are the bloody shirt of a journalist beaten by soldiers and a flag flown at the protest bearing more than 90 inscriptions. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2022 Robert shared two photos, one showing his partner’s busted lip and another showing a bloody shirt from the incident. Pilar Arias | Fox News, Fox News, 10 Aug. 2022 He was convicted of murdering her and sentenced to two life terms after evidence, including Murphy’s DNA on a bloody shirt and a fingernail, was linked to him. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 3 Apr. 2022 Conservatives don’t like it when liberals wave the bloody shirt. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bloody shirt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1670, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bloody shirt was in 1670

Dictionary Entries Near bloody shirt

Cite this Entry

“Bloody shirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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