do or die


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

do or die

1. adjective (hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun) Of or pertaining to the last chance to succeed in a given situation, such that the utmost energy and effort must be put forth to do so. Trailing by two points with only 45 seconds remaining, the game is now do or die for the home team. I have to get an A on this essay if I'm going to pass the class, so it's a do-or-die situation now.
2. verb To put forth the utmost energy and effort or else fail altogether. This is a cutthroat business, and you must do or die if you wish to survive.
See also: die

do or die

Exert supreme effort because failure is close at hand, as in Carol was going to set up the computer, do or die. This hyperbolic expression in effect says one will not be deterred by any obstacle. [c. 1600]
See also: die

do or die

persist in the face of great danger, even if death is the result.
1992 Daily Star It's do or die for Britain's fearless Rugby League lads Down Under as they prepare to face the Aussies in the Third and deciding Test.
See also: die

do or die

mod. having to try as hard as one can. He has the obsessive do or die attitude.
See also: die