Meaning of “a stick to beat sb with” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"a stick to beat sb with" in British English

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a stick to beat sb with

something that you can use to criticize, influence, or cause difficulty for someone or something you dislike or disapprove of:

The country's lack of openess was used as a stick to beat it with.

(Definition of “a stick to beat sb with” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)