The dogs of war

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The dogs of war is a phrase from a play first performed in 1599. We will examine the meaning of the phrase the dogs of war, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The dogs of war is a way to describe the destruction and chaos caused by war. The term comes from the play Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare. The entire line, uttered by Mark Antony, is: “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war…” At this time, Havoc was in fact a military command that told the soldiers they should loot and seize assets at will, becoming even more of a force of desctruction and chaos. Today, the term the dogs of war may be used to refer to actual dogs used in combat, particularly battle-hardened soldiers, or the more figurative idea of the chaos caused by conflict.


Whoever goes on to win this competition — whether it is Juventus, hard-boiled and battle-scarred, or Real Madrid, all unrivaled glamour, or even Atlético Madrid’s indomitable dogs of war — will not have a monopoly on its memory. (The New York Times)

Yet, it seems the administration is set on letting the dogs of war loose, ignoring real crises like rebuilding America’s infrastructure, global warming or providing a proper and just government. (Las Cruces Sun-News)

Russia has scrapped its cloned dogs of war program after the first batch of ‘superpups’ flunked basic tests because they could not handle the cold, it has emerged. (Daily Mail)

“Anything short of that will result in the murder of sleep, the invocation of the clouds of uncertainty and the release of the dogs of war,” he said. (The Pulse Nigeria)

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