paper tiger

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paper tiger

n.
One that is seemingly dangerous and powerful but is in fact timid and weak.

[Translation of Chinese (Mandarin) zhǐlǎohǔ : zhǐ, paper + lǎohǔ, tiger.]

paper tiger

n
a nation, institution, etc, that appears powerful but is in fact weak or insignificant
[C20: translation of a Chinese phrase first applied to the US]

pa′per ti′ger


n.
a person, nation, etc., that has the appearance of power but is actually weak and ineffectual.
[1945–50]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.paper tiger - the nature of a person or organization that appears powerful but is actually powerless and ineffectual; "he reminded Mao that the paper tiger had nuclear teeth"
impotence, impotency, powerlessness - the quality of lacking strength or power; being weak and feeble
Translations
paperitiikeri

paper tiger

ntigre f di carta
References in periodicals archive ?
Homeward Trust is presenting the Edmonton screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary Paper Tigers.
By targeting them and portraying them to be paper tigers, he was trying to reduce them to the status of paper tigers, at least among his supporters.
But that could also be propaganda put about by Western imperialist paper tigers.
Most definitely not paper tigers on a premiership footballer's salary.
Kolkata, on the other hand, will be desperate for their star-studded batting line-up to get their act together in an attempt to shed the tag of paper tigers that has been associated with the image of the team for way too long now.