Explore 20 Expressions Related to Conflict

Conflict is an inevitable part of human interactions, arising in both personal and professional settings. Whether it’s a mild disagreement or a heated debate, the language we use to describe these situations is rich and varied. This blog post explores 20 expressions related to conflict, providing a clear understanding of each phrase along with concise examples. These expressions can help articulate situations of discord more vividly and perhaps even with a touch of humor or gravity, depending on the context.

Expressions Related to Conflict

1. At loggerheads

Meaning: In strong disagreement.

Example: The partners were at loggerheads over the new contract.

2. Butt heads

Meaning: To argue about something.

Example: They often butt heads on project strategies.

3. Cross swords

Meaning: To have a heated argument.

Example: They crossed swords during the meeting.

4. A bone of contention

Meaning: A subject or issue over which there is ongoing disagreement.

Example: The topic became a bone of contention.

5. Lock horns

Meaning: To get into a serious argument.

Example: They locked horns over budget allocations.

6. Add fuel to the fire

Meaning: To worsen an already heated situation.

Example: His comments added fuel to the fire.

7. Rub the wrong way

Meaning: To irritate or annoy someone.

Example: His arrogance rubs everyone the wrong way.

8. At odds with

Meaning: In disagreement.

Example: He is at odds with his team about the deadline.

9. Throw a wrench into

Meaning: To cause a plan or activity to become disrupted.

Example: The late delivery threw a wrench into our plans.

10. Tug of war

Meaning: A situation in which two parties are evenly matched and competing for control.

Example: The negotiation was a tug of war.

11. Beat around the bush

Meaning: Avoid addressing a conflict or issue directly.

Example: Stop beating around the bush and state your real concerns.

12. Have it out

Meaning: To discuss or argue over a problem until it is resolved.

Example: Let’s just have it out and move on.

13. Clear the air

Meaning: To remove misunderstanding or tension.

Example: They talked and cleared the air.

14. Kiss and make up

Meaning: To reconcile after a conflict.

Example: After the argument, they decided to kiss and make up.

15. Open a can of worms

Meaning: To create a new set of problems.

Example: Asking about his past was like opening a can of worms.

16. Poke the bear

Meaning: To provoke someone or something.

Example: Don’t poke the bear; she’s already upset.

17. Bury the hatchet

Meaning: To make peace with someone.

Example: They finally decided to bury the hatchet.

18. Rock the boat

Meaning: To disturb a situation.

Example: He didn’t want to rock the boat by complaining.

19. Stir the pot

Meaning: To cause unrest or dissent.

Example: He loves to stir the pot during discussions.

20. Blow off steam

Meaning: To express anger or frustration to relieve stress.

Example: I need to blow off some steam after that meeting.

Expressions Related to Conflict