it's every man for himself

every man for himself

Each person must work independently toward their own success, as in competitive situations. Despite sounding male-centric, it can be applied to both sexes. Once we realized that there was only one scoop of ice cream left, it was every man for himself. Increasingly, it seems like it's every man for himself during election season.
See also: every, himself, man

Every man for himself (and the devil take the hindmost),

 and Devil take the hindmost
Prov. Everyone has to fight for his or her own survival. (You can use this to describe an extremely competitive situation.) At first we tried to help each other study for the exam, but soon it was every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost. The inventors tried to collaborate, agreeing to share the profits from their invention, but they grew so suspicious of each other that each began to work separately, and devil take the hindmost. When the ship began to sink, it was every man for himself.
See also: every, himself, man

every man for himself

Each individual puts his or her own interests foremost. For example, In this company no one helps anyone-it's every man for himself. In Chaucer's day this dictum was stated approvingly, meaning "if you don't look out for yourself, no one else will," but today such selfishness is usually censured. Despite the wording, the term applies to either sex.
See also: every, himself, man

every man for himself

everyone must take care of themselves and their own interests and safety.
This expression has been used since medieval times, but from the mid 16th century onwards it has often been expanded to every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost or, less commonly, every man for himself and God for us all .
1997 Daniel Quinn My Ishmael Tribes survive by sticking together at all costs, and when it's every man for himself, the tribe ceases to be a tribe.
See also: every, himself, man

it’s every ˌman for himˈself

(saying) you must think about your own interests, safety, etc. first, before the interests, etc. of other people: In business, it’s every man for himself.
See also: every, himself, man