burn one's boats

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In reference to Hernán Cortés, who gave the order to destroy his own ships (in reality, by sinking them) when he landed in Veracruz to begin his conquest in 1519.


burn one's boats (third-person singular simple present burns one's boats, present participle burning one's boats, simple past and past participle burned one's boats or burnt one's boats)

  1. To cut oneself off from all chance of retreat; to stake everything on success.

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