spike someone's guns

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

spike someone's guns

  1. To frustrate a person's efforts or designs; to undercut, to render helpless.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 205:
      But whatever the Russians may have felt (and, apparently, still do feel) about Shakespear, his superiors were delighted by the way he had so skilfully spiked the Tsar's guns by liberating his subjects.
    • 2005, John Crace, The Guardian, 8 Nov 2005:
      Labour is known to be worried about the Cameron effect and might attempt to spike his guns.