bring a knife to a gunfight

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


bring a knife to a gunfight

  1. (idiomatic) To enter into a confrontation or other challenging situation without being adequately equipped or prepared.
    • 1987, David Mamet, The Untouchables, [1]:
      Isn't that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight.
    • 1994, Gus Lee, China Boy, ISBN 9780452271586, p. 310:
      That is why one should never bring a knife to a gunfight, a worm should not challenge Godzilla, and a chump should never box a boxer.
    • 2006, Jeff Edwards, Torpedo, ISBN 9781583484654, p. xiii:
      [W]e can shoot down missiles. . . . Our Kingfisher sonars can detect mines. . . . Our ships are hardened against chemical and biological weapons. But how do you stop a torpedo? . . . The best engineers in the business agree that nearly every class of torpedo currently being deployed has the capacity to sink one of our ships with a single shot. . . . [W]e are the poor bastards that brought a knife to a gunfight.