All is fair in love and war: Meaning, synonyms & origin + 9 example sentences

What does “All is fair in love and war” mean?

“All is fair in love” means that everything is acceptable in the condition of love and war. A lover has not to be fearful in love, and if there is war there are no dos and don’ts or rules and regulations to be followed in the condition of war. The idiom means that one can achieve his or her love by any mean and in war every tactic and unfair strategies are considered as fair.   

 9 examples of how to use “All is fair in love and war” in a sentence

  • When you are in love with her, you don’t need any permission from your parents because all is fair in love and war.
  • Use of atomic bombs and nuclear weapons is prohibited in the modern world but we all know that all is fair in love and war.
  • I will be there tomorrow at any cost, I want to see her happy because all is fair in love and war.
  • John betrayed his parents just for the sake of Angelina; all is fair in love and war.
  • All is fair in love and war but you must remember your family traditions, if they are not happy with your decision then you cannot marry her.
  • Suddenly she divorced him but he tried to convince her by every mean because all is fair in love and war.
  • Their love story is quite interesting; no one can sacrifice their beloved ones just for the sake of love. Now we can be sure that all is fair in love and war.
  • Despite the sanctions of United Nations, every nation is investing on their nuclear weapons; all is fair in love and war.
  • One must not kill the innocent, old, sick and schools, hospitals, religious centers must not be targeted but no one cares because all is fair in love and war.

 The origin of “All is fair in love and war”

The idiom “all is fair in love and war” is not a complex one in its structure and meaning. One can easily get the meaning and understand the in-depth message of the idiom from its easy words and structure. The modern form of this idiom has its roots in 1850 when it was used by Frank E. Smedley in his novel ‘Frank Fairlegh”. The idiom in its different versions has also been found in the “1620 translation of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote II by Tom Sheldon and the 1845 novel Smuggler II by G.P.R. James”.

According to some other sources, the phrase for the first time was noticed in 1578 in “John Lyly’s, Eupheus: The Anatomy of Wit”.  The phrase is related to the behavior, one can behave in any way in order to find his or her love and to win a war. In the condition of love and war, every kind of behavior can be acceptable.

 Synonyms for “All is fair in love and war”

Elimination of the boundaries, misdealing, unfair, trick, wrong actions, unfair strategies, violation of rules, fair and forgivable.

 Idioms related to “All is fair in love and war”

  • Miscarriage of justice
  • Play dirty
  • Kick a man when he is down
  • Adding insult to injury
  • Giving the benefit of the doubt
  • Killing two birds with one stone
  • Stealing someone’s thunder
  • Throwing caution to the wind
  • Burning bridges
  • He /She is off their rocker