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Idiom

Fight Fire with Fire: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To use the same methods or “weapons” against your opponent as they are using against you.
Origin
fight fire with fire There are many different techniques fire-fighters use to put out fires and believe it or not, one of these ways is to use fire! A method used to fight forest fires is to use controlled fires to burn a large section of the forest or field in the path of the fire to remove any flammable materials. Therefore, when the fire reaches that part of the forest, there is nothing for it to burn and it is easier to put out. The fire-fighters are literally fighting fire with fire and using the same method again their “opponent” as it is using against them!
Examples
“Our competitors have started to spend a lot of money on advertising so I think we should fight fire with fire and do the same.”

“Did you hear what happened in the football match last night? The other team were pushing and kicking our players all night so in the end we decided to fight fire with fire and we kicked them back. We ended up winning the match!”

Joan: “Who’s coming to your party on Saturday?”
Mary: “I don’t think anyone is coming. Cathy told everyone my secret and now they all want to go to her party instead. I’m so upset.”
Joan: “Instead of being upset, you should fight fire with fire. Find out a secret about her and tell everyone!”