Definition of a (warning) shot across the bows in English:

a (warning) shot across the bows

phrase

  • A statement or gesture intended to frighten someone into changing their course of action:

    ‘supporters are firing a warning shot across the President's bows’
    • ‘This is simply a warning shot across the bows of the Iraqi leadership.’
    • ‘There are not that many who have been completely barred but it's fired a warning shot across the bows.’
    • ‘Most observers believe the bill was meant to be a shot across the Islamic Republic's bow.’
    • ‘The recall vote was a shot across the bows for all politicians.’
    • ‘Apparently they sometimes give you a warning shot across the bows before they sink the fangs in.’