One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual.
- ‘We are fond of making decrees, we even specialize in doing it, but a lot of the regulations made by the House of Representatives are only paper tigers.’
- ‘All this activity generated little pressure on legislators, making Schwarzenegger look like a possible paper tiger, very popular with the public but not able to generate much pressure to move legislative votes.’
- ‘Italy's inefficient bureaucracy, the lack of the technology required to impose the new legislation, bad planning and underfunding threaten to make the new law yet another paper tiger.’
- ‘A general thrust of my argument is that the postmodern turn in anthropology threatens to be a paper tiger.’
- ‘In the event, it turns out that the SEC has imposed no sanction of any material consequence, and is in danger of becoming a paper tiger under new chairman, Harvey Pitt.’
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