war of nerves
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
a conflict or campaign utilizing psychological means to unsettle an opponent or to destroy morale
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. wars of nervesThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A conflict marked by psychological tactics, such as intimidation and threats, that are intended to confuse, exhaust, and demoralize an enemy.
war of nerves - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A conflict characterized by psychological pressure such as threats and rumors, aiming to undermine an enemy's morale. For example, Her lawyer said the university had waged a war of nerves to persuade his client to resign. This expression alludes to tactics used in World War II. [Late 1930s]