To break a lance

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To break a lance to engage in a tilt or contest.
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Usage

In literature:

Fancy my Lord Utilitarian turning to break a lance in defence of beauty.
"Mae Madden" by Mary Murdoch Mason
But it is a glorious and praise-worthy action with one lance to break and overthrow ten enemies.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book I." by Francois Rabelais
But here Vieuxbois spurred in to break a last lance.
"Yeast: A Problem" by Charles Kingsley
Am I not a pretty knight to run a course and break a lance, I who can only with great difficulty open a letter?
"A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume IV. of VI." by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
Do you suppose that I will condescend to break a lance with your low and obscure colleague?
"The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln" by Francis Fisher Browne
This is not the time nor the place to break a controversial lance with Dr. Oliphant.
"The Altar Steps" by Compton MacKenzie
If they had, having the multitude on my side, I would have tried to break a lance with them.
"The Journal of Sir Walter Scott" by Walter Scott
I did not send for thee to prophesy, but to prove; I would break a lance and hold a tilt at thine argument.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2)" by John Roby
Sophie's wit never hesitated to break a lance even on those she liked.
"Great Singers, First Series" by George T. Ferris
Against the Abolitionists, also, Mr. Brownson is still ready to break a lance, with the hearty unreasoning hostility of the good old times.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866" by Various
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In poetry:

Or break the lance, and couch the spear
At tilts and tournaments o' weir,
Whar mony a valiant knight and peer
Display'd their skill,
To courtly beauty, blushing near,
On Lady's hill.
"The Links O' Forth : Or, A Parting Peep At The Carse O' Sterling" by Hector MacNeill
Both armies were about the distance of a mile from each other,
All ready to commence the fight, brother against brother,
Each expecting that the other would advance
To break a sword in combat, or shiver a lance.
"The Battle of Culloden" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Breaking news from our friends at eTrueSports: Lance Armstrong tested positive for Bulldorphin, a banned substance used to mask dishonesty.
According to Virginia Tech freshman Lance Diamond, his first week of college was ruined after he wore a pair of Rainbow brand flip-flops and a pair of Sperry boat shoes without first properly breaking the footwear in.
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