fight fire with fire
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Either from the practice of starting back fires to prevent the uncontrolled spread of wildfires, or from gunfire which is fought by firing back at the enemy.
Audio (AU) (file)
fight fire with fire (third-person singular simple present fights fire with fire, present participle fighting fire with fire, simple past and past participle fought fire with fire)
- (idiomatic) To respond to an attack with a similar or identical counter-attack (e.g. to respond to gunfire with reciprocal gunfire).
- 1983, Talking Heads (lyrics and music), “Burning Down the House”, in Speaking in Tongues:
- Close enough but not too far / Maybe you know where you are / Fightin' fire with fire
respond to an attack with a counter-attack