to take the bull by the horns

Idiom Definition

"to take the bull by the horns"

to manage a situation or problem using strength and determination;

to take charge of a situation, usually forcefully and with vigor, often with the accompanying responsibility

Idiom Definition - to take the bull by the horns


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to take the bull by the horns

Johnny is a 14 year old teenage boy.  His bedroom is a mess.  There are dirty dishes and dirty clothes everywhere.

"Johnny needs to take the bull by the horns."

Johnny needs to decide to get to work and clean his room.  He needs to take charge in a forceful way and determine to get the job done.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to take the bull by the horns

The factory floor is in total disarray.  The machines need repairs.  The workers are not working efficiently.  They are taking longer and longer coffee breaks.  Nobody is sweeping and taking out the garbage.  Nobody is taking charge of the situation.  The supervisor thinks to himself...

"I want to take the bull by the horns.  I want to organize and increase the production of this factory, not to mention safety"

The supervisor is not sure if he should take charge.  He is unsure if his manager will approve.  He is not sure if he has enough respect and authority over the workers.  Therefore, the supervisor only wants to take the bull by the horns.


to take the bull by the horns - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   320   click for frequency by country

to take the bull by the horns - Gerund Form:

Taking the bull by the horns requires determination and courage.

to take the bull by the horns - Examples:

1)  It would be great to see Glenn take the bull by the horns, but it's far from certain he can, or will.

2)  You can take the bull by the horns and set up your own ad hoc neighborhood fitness club.

3)  If we are serious about reducing inequality, we must take the bull by the horns and directly intervene in the labour market.

4)  I thought I will take the bull by the horns and get it done.

5)  Even better, take the bull by the horns and sign up to an online dating site.

6)  So... I suggest you take the bull by the horns. Ask his mom to go do something with you.

7) Where it impinges upon your work and performance you must take the bull by the horns (or whatever) and confront the issue. 

8)  It would have been better to take the bull by the horns and sort out the schools, drastically curtailing private schools directly.

9)  You have to bite the bullet and take the bull by the horns to make them see sense the hard way.

10)  I think you have to take the bull by the horns and talk to the neighbours.

11) The time has come that our beloved players need to take the bull by the horns and steer it the way we want. 

12)  Well clearly parents can take the bull by the horns and get their kids involved in physical activity sessions of one type or another.

13)  I'd really love it if they really did take the bull by the horns and clearly state that Amazon is a hostile competitor and not a trading partner.

14)  Get there quick though, before UKC take the bull by the horns and launch a new version.

15)  Why can't the government take the bull by the horns and do what needs to be done rather than messing about with expensive educational measures?

16)  We have to take the bull by the horns and look after ourselves by asking questions, millions of them.

17)  If the Germans take the bull by the horns, they retain control, a central tenet in Teutonic thinking.

18)  Time to look at my values and take the bull by the horns.

19)  You want a secure computer and online experience, then take the bull by the horns and make it happen.

20)  Hopefully, someone will step up and take the bull by the horns and own the QB position rather than just being given the opportunity.