war of nerves

a) Warfare or other physical conflict in which one or more combatting parties use especially demoralizing and frightening tactics to attempt to unnerve their opponents.

"Our brave Ottoman soldiers are not easily frightened by noise, owing to their splendid nerves—and this is a war of nerves, a war in which strong nerves mean victory."

b) A situation in which opposed parties refrain from direct conflict but maintain a tense, contentious relationship in which each uses annoyances or intimidating psychological tactics to attempt to dishearten and unnerve the other.

"In the future, war will not merely be one of men and machines, it will be a war of wills and a war of nerves."


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • war of nerves — n [singular] an attempt to make an enemy worried, and to destroy their courage by threatening them, spreading false information etc …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • war of nerves — war′ of nerves′ n. mil a campaign of propaganda, false rumors, or the like, in an attempt to confuse and demoralize the enemy without resorting to direct violence • Etymology: 1935–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • war of nerves — n. a conflict or campaign utilizing psychological means to unsettle an opponent or to destroy morale …   English World dictionary

  • war of nerves — noun the use of psychological tactics to destroy the opponents morale • Syn: ↑psychological warfare • Hypernyms: ↑war, ↑warfare * * * : psychological tactics of assailing the morale of an opponent by broadcasting propaganda, spreading rumors… …   Useful english dictionary

  • War of Nerves — Single infobox Name = War of Nerves Artist = All Saints from Album = All Saints B side = Inside Background = Orange Released = November 23, 1998 Recorded = 1997 Format = CD, Cassette Genre = R B,Ballad Length = 4:52 Label = London Records… …   Wikipedia

  • war\ of\ nerves — • battle of nerves • war of nerves n. phr. A contest of wills during which the parties do not fight physically but try to wear each other out. It has been a regular battle of nerves to get the new program accepted at the local state university …   Словарь американских идиом

  • War of Nerves (M*A*S*H) — Infobox Television episode Title = War of Nerves Series = M*A*S*H Caption = Season = 6 Episode = 5 Airdate = October 11, 1977 Production = 604 Writer = Alan Alda Director = Alan Alda Guests = Allan Arbus (Maj. Sidney Freedman) Johnny Haymer (SSgt …   Wikipedia

  • war of nerves — N SING A war of nerves is a conflict in which the opposing sides try to make each other feel less confident. ...the continuing war of nerves between the army and the leadership …   English dictionary

  • war of nerves — wearing down the enemy in a war like manner …   English contemporary dictionary

  • war of nerves — Date: 1939 a conflict characterized by psychological tactics (as bluff, threats, and intimidation) designed primarily to create confusion, indecision, or breakdown of morale …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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