paper tiger


paper tiger
A seemingly fierce person or thing without the ability to back up their words.

The League of Nations was by this time scarcely even a paper tiger, devoid of credibility since its divisions and pusillanimity had been so clearly laid bare following Mussolinis invasion of Abyssinia in the autumn of 1935.


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  • Paper tiger — is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhǐ lǎohǔ (zh ts|t=紙老虎|s=紙老虎), meaning something which seems as threatening as a tiger, but is really harmless.The phrase is an ancient one in Chinese, but sources differ as to when it… …   Wikipedia

  • paper tiger — Paper Pa per (p[=a] p[ e]r), n. [F. papier, fr. L. papyrus papyrus, from which the Egyptians made a kind of paper, Gr. pa pyros. Cf. {Papyrus}.] 1. A substance in the form of thin sheets or leaves intended to be written or printed on, or to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paper tiger — A paper tiger is a person, country, institution, etc, that looks powerful, but is actually weak …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • paper tiger — paper tigers N COUNT If you say that an institution, a country, or a person is a paper tiger, you mean that although they seem powerful they do not really have any power …   English dictionary

  • paper tiger — n an enemy or opponent who seems powerful but actually is not …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • paper tiger — noun count a person, organization, or country that appears to be very powerful or dangerous but in fact is weak …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • paper tiger — ► NOUN ▪ a person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual …   English terms dictionary

  • paper tiger — ☆ paper tiger n. a person, nation, etc. that seems to pose a threat but is actually ineffective or powerless …   English World dictionary

  • paper tiger — noun the nature of a person or organization that appears powerful but is actually powerless and ineffectual he reminded Mao that the paper tiger had nuclear teeth • Hypernyms: ↑powerlessness, ↑impotence, ↑impotency * * * noun, pl ⋯ gers [count] …   Useful english dictionary

  • paper tiger — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms paper tiger : singular paper tiger plural paper tigers a person, organization, or country that appears to be very powerful or dangerous but in fact is weak …   English dictionary

  • paper tiger —    A paper tiger is a person, country, institution, etc, that looks powerful, but is actually weak.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    This term refers to a person, organization or country that is less powerful or threatening than they… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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