talk tough


: to say that one will act in a forceful and aggressive way
When the subject is national security, all the candidates talk tough.
often + on
The new mayor talks tough on crime.

Examples of talk tough in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps the best way to understand Trump’s China policy is to view it as an attitude rather than a strategy: talk tough on China and push back in all areas and at all times. Evan Medeiros, Foreign Affairs, 17 Mar. 2021 Organizers point out that workers are often demoralized when union leaders talk tough and then quickly settle for a subpar deal. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 But the debate over the EAGLE Act suggests that while Democrats in Congress are happy to talk tough on China, too few of them are up to the task of crafting concrete measures to confront the threats Beijing poses to the global order. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, 5 July 2021 Beard is white, gets in his players’ faces, loves to talk tough. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 13 Mar. 2023 Controversial Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva frequently uses social media to talk tough about crime, dismiss claims of widespread police brutality and call out his critics. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2022 President Biden took the podium to talk tough and show resolve. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 24 Feb. 2022 It was broadcast after Trump, who seems certain to seek a return to the Oval Office in 2024, was beginning to talk tough about potential primary opponents. Michael D'antonio, CNN, 5 Oct. 2021 President Biden hasn’t been afraid to talk tough and set expectations with Vladimir Putin, but will Mr. Biden enforce his own red lines? The Editorial Board, WSJ, 7 July 2021

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

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Cite this Entry

“Talk tough.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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