grasp the nettle
  1. (idiomatic) To act boldly, especially when there are short-term adverse consequences.
    • 1886, "[ London's Recent Rioting]," New York Times, 22 Feb., p. 5 (retrieved 18 Aug. 2010):
      Hence it was that a few dozen policemen, resolutely grasping the nettle, had no difficulty in handling it.
    • 1951, "[,5778905&dq=grasped-the-nettle&hl=en From Today's Times]," Ottawa Citizen (Canada), 30 April, p. 2 (retrieved 18 Aug. 2010):
      President Truman, when at last he grasped the nettle and dismissed MacArthur, knew well enough the outcry that would follow.
    • 2007, "Brown's Britain: taking the nuclear option ↗,", 24 May (retrieved 18 Aug. 2010):
      That Tony Blair should wait until the dying days of his premiership before grasping the nettle of nuclear expansion has proved dangerously neglectful.
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