sabre rattling

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Noun1.sabre rattling - the ostentatious display of military power (with the implied threat that it might be used)
military action, action - a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea"
References in periodicals archive ?
It is too important to be reduced to sabre rattling and shows of force.
And the deployment of 800 British troops with tanks and drones in Estonia, on Russia's Baltic border, offers reassurance to the locals, but will be viewed as sabre rattling by Moscow.
But then I glanced over my shoulder at the Iron Curtain still separating the peaceful real world from the sabre rattling warmongers of the recent Nato conference.
The flurry of sabre rattling over the future of post-revolutionary Ukraine brought tensions between Russia and the West to a height not seen since the 2008 war between Russian and Georgia.
But despite growing unrest, the natives will be sabre rattling tomorrow because there is so much at stake.