bloody shirt

bloody shirt
: the blood-stained shirt of a slain man used to incite vengeance for his death; broadly : a symbol used to inflame to anger or to retaliative action — used specifically in the United States after the Civil War of any means employed to stir up or revive party or sectional animosity especially in the phrase wave the bloody shirt

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1. a bloodstained shirt used to incite a mob to vengeance.
2. any symbol used for this purpose.

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bloody shirt,
U.S. something used to stir people to vengeance.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bloody shirt — n. something, as a political issue or historical event, that can be used to stir up outrage, partisan support, etc.: used chiefly in the phrase wave the bloody shirt, to stir up such outrage, support, etc …   English World dictionary

  • bloody shirt — 1. a bloodstained shirt used to incite a mob to vengeance. 2. any symbol used for this purpose. [1870 75] * * * ▪ United States history       in U.S. history, the post Civil War political strategy of appealing to voters by recalling the passions… …   Universalium

  • bloody shirt — noun Date: 1586 something intended to stir up or revive partisan animosity usually used in the phrase wave the bloody shirt …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bloody shirt — blood′y shirt′ n. a bloodstained shirt or other powerful symbol used to incite people to vengeance • Etymology: 1870–75 …   From formal English to slang

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