stick to one's guns

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stick to one’s guns

  1. (dated, military, of gunners) To persist in faithfully attending to cannons while under fire.
    • 1970, James Henderson, The Frigates, an account of the lesser warships of the wars from 1793 to 1815, London: Wordsworth, p. 73:
      Capitan Beaulieu-de-Long and his first lieutenant were both killed, several guns dismounted, and many of the [French frigate] crew killed and wounded. . . . Nevertheless the French stuck bravely to their guns, while the flame of the cannonade illuminated the scene beneath the canopy of smoke.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) To maintain one’s position or viewpoint when faced with opposition.
    • 1898, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Quiller-Couch, St. Ives, ch. 29:
      Ronald had stuck to his guns and refused me to the last.
    • 1922, Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary, ch. 15:
      "I intend to marry, of course," replied Tuppence. "That is, if"—she paused, knew a momentary longing to draw back, and then stuck to her guns bravely—"I can find some one rich enough to make it worth my while."
    • 2004 Sept. 3, Mitch Frank, "Bush Finds His Agenda," Time (retrieved 19 Sep 2015):
      The President . . . stuck to his guns on that, not repeating any of his recent admissions that there had been "miscalculations" in planning for the war.