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grasp the nettle

Definition of grasp the nettle in English:

British Tackle a difficulty boldly.
[Because a nettle stings when touched lightly, but not when grasped firmly]
Example sentences
  • Tackling mental health, grasping the nettle of introducing rights-based legislation will come at a cost.
  • He said: ‘I am pleased that the Prime Minister is now re-examining my proposals but we shall see whether the Government really grasps the nettle regarding this issue.’
  • He warned the country could be facing another crisis unless the next Government grasps the nettle of public spending.
See parent entry: grasp
Definition of grasp the nettle in:
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