hold with the hare and run with the hounds

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

hold with the hare and run with the hounds

  1. (idiomatic, dated) To oppose an action or behavior and yet engage in the same action or behavior; to be a hypocrite.
    Well, if you ask me, Pastor Hawkins is trying to hold with the hare and run with the hounds by opposing casino gambling when his church operates a bingo game every Thursday night.
  2. (idiomatic, dated) To remain neutral by attempting to placate two factions or both sides of a controversy.
    Julianna needs to be careful if she keeps holding with the hare and running with the hounds; she might wind up making enemies of both labor and management.

Quotations[edit]

  • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which is to Come.
    He can throw stones with both hands--can hold with the hare and run with the hounds--carry fire in one hand and water in the other.
  • 1871, Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Belgravia
    How happy is the man who knows really how to hold with the hare and run with the hounds! in other words, to be equally agreeable to both husband and wife.
  • 1874, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, An Earnest Warning on Lukewarmness.
    Thousands try to hold with the hare and run with the hounds, they are for God and Mammon, Christ and Belial, truth and error, and so are "neither hot nor cold."
  • 1967, Robert Brainard Pearsall, "The Vendible Values of Housman's Soldiery", PMLA, Vol. 82, No. 1 (March).
    Thus Housman's uniformed creations move crookedly; they run with the hare and run with the hounds, and their "meaning" is uncertain.