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smell blood



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smell blood (third-person singular simple present smells blood, present participle smelling blood, simple past and past participle smelled blood or smelt blood)

  1. (idiomatic) To sense that one has an advantage over an adversary or rival.
    • 1995, Jane Feather, Valentine, →ISBN, p. 392:
      Later he intended to continue his goading of Neil. He could smell blood now; if only he could get the man to fall apart in one of their clubs.
    • 1998 Sep. 7, Paul Quinn-Judge, "Russian Roulette," Time:
      Smelling blood in the economic meltdown, the lower house of parliament, or Duma, took the offensive, calling for Yeltsin to resign.
    • 2005 June 15, David DuPree, "Detroit stalls Spurs 96-79 in Game 3 of Finals," USA Today (retrieved 14 July 2011):
      The Pistons, once they smelled blood, got more aggressive and the Spurs simply ran out of gas.
    • 2008 June 1, Nelson D. Schwartz, "The Trouble in Housing Trickles Up ," New York Times (retrieved 14 July 2011):
      When buyers do turn up nowadays, she says, “they smell blood in the water and routinely offer 15 to 20 percent below the asking price.”

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