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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
And yesterday's shooting down of a US drone only added to the grim sounds of sabre rattling.
Gunboat Gavin has gone and I trust his undiplomatic sabre rattling has gone with him.
Global growth remains "solid." Despite the sabre rattling at top diplomatic levels regarding new trade policies and tariffs, the "DHL Global Trade Barometer" index continues to forecast solid growth for global trade as the index hits 67, representing a slight increase (+1) compared to the previous release in March.
Why, even as the divided Koreas move towards rapprochement, are India and Pakistan, with one-eighth of the world's population, drowning in mutually increasing religious obscurantism, bigotry and sabre rattling? How many years and opportunities have been wasted in furthering ignorance and poverty?
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.