Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Grasp the nettle tackle a difficulty boldly (in allusion to the fact that a nettle stings when touched lightly, but not when grasped firmly); the idea of the nettle representing a difficult or perilous situation is found in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV (1597).

See also grasp at straws.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.