phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Win the battle to lose the war

Posted by Bob on August 08, 2005

In Reply to: Win the battle to lose the war posted by Kirsty on August 08, 2005

: Someone said this to me the other day,what's the meaning of it? "(You will) Win the battle to lose the war" can't exactly remember if he said "you will" so have put it in brackets. Thankyou

He may have been referring to a pyrrhic victory, neatly defined at as

Pyrrhic victory

A victory that is offset by staggering losses, as in The campaign was so divisive that even though he won the election it was a Pyrrhic victory. This expression alludes to Kind Pyrrhus of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in a.d. 279, but lost his best officers and many of his troops. Pyrrhus then said: "Another such victory and we are lost." In English the term was first recorded (used figuratively) in 1879.