fight fire with fire

An injunction to counter like with like. Cf. early 14th-cent. Fr. lung feu doit estaindre lautre, one fire must put out another; 1608 SHAKESPEARE Coriolanus IV. vii. 54 One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail.

1846 J. F. COOPER Redskins III. i. If ‘Fire will fight fire’, ‘Indian’ ought to be a match for ‘Injin’ any day.

1869 P. T. BARNUM Struggles & Triumphs xl. I write to ask what your intentions are... Do you intend to fight fire with fire?

1980 C. SMITH Cut-out ix. ‘You think the other Palestinians have hired some heavies as well?’ ‘Why not? Fight fire with fire.’


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  • Fight Fire With Fire — Chanson par Metallica extrait de l’album Ride the Lightning Sortie 1984 Enregistrement 1984 au Sweet Silence Studios de Copenhagen, Danemark Durée 4:45 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • fight fire with fire — phrase to criticize someone who is criticizing you The President answered his critics by fighting fire with fire. Thesaurus: to treat someone in the same bad way they treat yousynonym Main entry: fire * * * use the weapons or tactics of one s… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fight Fire with Fire — Chanson par Metallica extrait de l’album Ride the Lightning Sortie 1984 Enregistrement 1984 au Sweet Silence Studios de Copenhague, Danemark Durée 4:45 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fight Fire with Fire — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Fight Fire with Fire» Canción de Metallica Álbum Ride the Lightning Publicación 1984 …   Wikipedia Español

  • fight fire with fire — fight with the same weapon the enemy uses    If he uses statistics, you use statistics. Fight fire with fire! …   English idioms

  • fight fire with fire — ► fight fire with fire use the weapons or tactics of one s opponent, even if one finds them distasteful. Main Entry: ↑fight …   English terms dictionary

  • fight fire with fire — {v. phr.}, {slightly formal}, {of Biblical origin} To fight back in the same way one was attacked; make a defense similar to the attack. * /The candidate was determined to fight fire with fire in the debate./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fight fire with fire — {v. phr.}, {slightly formal}, {of Biblical origin} To fight back in the same way one was attacked; make a defense similar to the attack. * /The candidate was determined to fight fire with fire in the debate./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fight\ fire\ with\ fire — v. phr. slightly formal of Biblical origin To fight back in the same way one was attacked; make a defense similar to the attack. The candidate was determined to fight fire with fire in the debate …   Словарь американских идиом

  • fight fire with fire — to attack someone with a lot of force because they are attacking you with force. In the face of stiff competition from rival firms we had to fight fire with fire and slash our prices …   New idioms dictionary

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