fought


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fight like Kilkenny cats

To fight almost to the death. The phrase alludes to an Irish fable in which two cats fought and nearly killed each other. This team does not give up, so we need to fight like Kilkenny cats if we're going to beat them. By the time I called the police, those two were fighting like Kilkenny cats.
See also: cat, fight, like

fight a losing battle

To try persistently and with great effort to do or achieve something that is ultimately doomed to fail. You're fighting a losing battle if you think you can convince Sarah to go to college. It looks like I'm fighting a losing battle trying to get a raise from my boss.
See also: battle, fight, losing

fight tooth and nail

To fight, battle, or compete with great ferocity, vigor, and intensity. I know my brother has fought tooth and nail to be re-elected, so his victory tonight is certainly well earned. These elite troops have been selected by the royal palace to fight tooth and nail against any possible invaders.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fight a losing battle

to try hard but fail For years it seems we have been fighting a losing battle against poverty and hunger. In an old house, you're always fighting a losing battle with dust and dirt.
Usage notes: sometimes used without fight: Many teachers feel they are in a losing battle for learning and order.
See also: battle, fight, losing

fight (somebody/something) tooth and nail

to use a lot of effort to oppose someone or achieve something We fought tooth and nail to keep our share of the business. They vowed to fight the new legislation tooth and nail.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fight a losing battle

to try hard to do something when there is no chance that you will succeed (usually in continuous tenses) We try our best to cope with the workload but we're fighting a losing battle.
See also: battle, fight, losing

fight tooth and nail

Engage in vigorous combat or make a strenuous effort, using all one's resources. For example, I'm going to fight tooth and nail for that promotion. This expression, with its allusion to biting and scratching, was first recorded in 1576.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth
References in classic literature ?
You see, Kotick had never fasted for four months as the big seals did every year, and his deep-sea swimming trips kept him in perfect condition, and, best of all, he had never fought before.
You called me your princess without having asked my hand of me, and then you boasted that you had fought for me.
But neither of these two wounds was serious, and they only fought more earnestly.
Furiously we fought, but the advantage was mine, for I stood upon a raised platform above them, and I fought for the most glorious woman of a glorious race, and I fought for a great love and for the mother of my boy.
One fought on a "front," and behind that front the winner's supplies and resources, his towns and factories and capital, the peace of his country, were secure.
On the other question, how the battle of Borodino and the preceding battle of Shevardino were fought, there also exists a definite and well-known, but quite false, conception.
Again the Heliumite and the Lotharian fought shoulder to shoulder, but the battle was soon over, for the Prince of Helium alone would have been a match for any three that Dusar could produce.
The Black Odwar had these to strengthen his arm, and besides these the knowledge of the thing that Gahan had whispered into the ears of his players before the game, and so he fought for what is more than life to the man of honor.
You have fought well this day, Norman of Torn," replied De Montfort.
And so he fought and drove and bullied and even wheedled his way along.
The first battle, fought and finished," Martin said to the looking-glass ten days later.
In this manner it came about that he fought all sizes and breeds of dogs.
He crooked his left arm defensively about his head and fought with cursing fury.
These fights were finished, one way or the other, or we separated them with drinks, while all the time Nelson and Soup Kennedy fought on.
The regular troops fought the farmers as savagely as had they been Indians.