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Fly in the face of

Fly in the face of is a phrase that means to openly flaunt or oppose, to violate normal rules or go against conventional wisdom. Derived phrases are flying in the face of, flies in the face of, flew in the face of and flying in the face of.

The term fly in the face of seems to come from a phrase used in the mid-fourteenth century, to fly in a person’s face, which referred to a dog attacking a human being in a literal sense. The phrase came to mean a figurative or verbal attack on someone who did not agree with your opinion.


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A related phrase is fly in the teeth of, which also means to openly flaunt or oppose, to violate normal rules or go against conventional wisdom.

Examples

Not only does this fly in the face of the spirit of the Canadian Energy Strategy, but Ontario is considering a circuitous route to import Newfoundland power that bypasses Quebec altogether and instead would wheel electricity through four states en route to Ontario. (The Globe and Mail)

That would fly in the face of what Baffert has said about wanting two races before the Breeders’ Cup. (USA Today)

Both the attack and response seemed to fly in the face of what was previously taken at face value. (The Jerusalem Post)

He said the verdict, particularly in relation to Ms Maguire, flew in the face of the allegations made by the caller. (The Irish Times)

The escalating cost of Hideo Kojima’s latest and last instalment in the hit action franchise appears to be flying in the face of Konami’s current focus on mobile games which are cheap to develop but which can reap huge financial returns. (The International Business Times)

But given Burress’s height and age, counting on him to be a go-to receiver again seems to fly in the teeth of NFL history. (The Wall Street Journal)

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