Battering ram

an ancient military device with a heavy horizontal ram for battering down walls, gates, etc.
any of various similar devices, usually machine-powered, used in demolition, by police and firefighters to force entrance to a building, etc.
Contemporary Examples

But, also, such pulse-pounding adventure is a battering ram against the central bulwark of a civilized society.
Dubai’s Hollywood Hitmen James Carroll February 18, 2010

One with a pistol strapped to his hip swings a battering ram into a door.
Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons Andrew Becker, G. W. Schulz December 20, 2011

Tonight, he was a battering ram whenever anyone tried to interrupt him.
Mitt Romney Stands His Ground Mark McKinnon October 18, 2011

Historical Examples

The battering ram was simply a heavy timber with a metal head, swung by chains from a kind of wooden trestle.
Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis

Had I had anything to use as a battering ram, I would have begun on the door.
Swept Out to Sea W. Bertram Foster

This is the battering ram, a fearful beast, I think he weighs a thousand tons at least.
A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells

“Going to try a battering ram,” said Tom, rather scared at the sight.
With Wellington in Spain F. S. Brereton

The thing was one of the long, squared timbers we had noted outside; and it was being used as a battering ram.
The Killer Stewart Edward White

Again and again she flung herself at it like a battering ram.
The Bungalow Boys Along the Yukon Dexter J. Forrester

There was what they called the battering ram, which was a long and very heavy beam of wood, headed with iron or brass.
Alexander the Great Jacob Abbott

(esp formerly) a large beam used to break down the walls or doors of fortifications


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