battle of wills

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - battle of wills

"battle of wills"

a disagreement, contest or negotiation in which opposing sides refuse to change their demands or goals and hope that by not relenting, the other side will weaken


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - battle of wills

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  What are they arguing about this time?

Colleague 2:  The color of the new coffee cups for the office.

Colleague 1:  Why does it always seem like such a battle of wills with those two? Who really cares about the color of our coffee cups?

Colleague 2:  For those two, it is about the appearance of who has the power to make decisions and neither of them wants to give in to the other.

Colleague 1:  And so we will live with the office discord.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - battle of wills

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  It has been over a year that you and your wife have been fighting over your divorce. When are you going to finalize it?

Friend 2:  We are still fighting over custody of the dog. I know how much she loves that dog and I am simply not willing to change my opinion that the dog is mine.

Friend 1:  But your soon-to-be ex-wife believes she should have the dog?

Friend 2:  Yes. Everything else regarding the divorce is settled. We both are just not willing to relent about the dog. I had hoped that by now she would have given up trying.

Friend 1:  Sounds like a real battle of wills.

battle of wills - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   213   click for frequency by country

battle of wills - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for battle of wills.

battle of wills - Examples:

1)  ... toilet training experience should be positive. If it becomes a struggle or a battle of wills, it is best to ease up or stop for a while.

2)  ... a seemingly unwinnable war against the drug lords that escalates into a savage, high-stakes battle of wills.

3)  My energy locked, with this thing it became a battle of wills. I called on everything I had; ...

4)  ... favours change, ministers will need to gird themselves for the battle of wills to come. Game on: ...

5)  ... not about a power struggle and caving in; Arsenal have been losing the battle of wills against players since the day they so casually let ...

6)  ... each player countering the moves of the other. I had delighted in the battle of wills between myself and the strong-minded Harvey, he had been a worthy opponent.

7)  ... and some so competitive they turn each exchange into a battle of wills from which they must emerge victorious.

8)  He made eye contact for the first time. Another battle of wills. He blinked first.

9)  ... conflicting time at the start when boundaries are being established. There can be a battle of wills over the smallest issues which can often leave families feeling drained and frustrated.

10)  So personal sacrifices will need to be made if you want to win the battle of wills.

11)  Rather the opposition must be clearly focussed, otherwise it turns into a battle of wills and power, and not a search for the truth, ...

12)  So often the toddler stage is seen as a battle of wills, us against them. 

13)  ... the time to acknowledge them, refusing to believe that she had won a gritty battle of wills until she had the finishing tape in her hands.

14)  I wonder if it's some kind of battle of wills and Dolly's seeing how far she can push us.

15)  ... a huge amount of things and is a real hoarder, so it was a battle of wills to get her to give things up!

16)  To break this connection, the Doctor enters a battle of wills for control over the sentient machine.

17)  I'm in a battle of wills with a guy who lets all his calls rollover to voicemail.

18)  Altering peoples thoughts is like a battle of wills. You have to spearhead charges that will touch a persons perspective.

19)  ... and made a few suggestions as to the changes I wanted. There was no battle of wills. He just didn't even get into a discussion with me.

20)  What we have to face instead is a battle of wills characterised by unwillingness on both sides to appeal to the common good in ...