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 rearguard action

To try to stop something that likely cannot be prevented. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I know we're probably fighting a rearguard action against the board with this petition, but it's worth a try.
See also: action, fight

fight like cat and dog

To constantly fight or argue. Those two fight like cat and dog, so please don't put them together on the project.
See also: and, cat, dog, fight, like

fight tooth and claw

To fight, battle, or compete with great ferocity, vigor, and intensity. I know my brother has fought tooth and claw 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 claw against any possible invaders.
See also: and, claw, fight, tooth

fight like hell

To use all of one's power or effort to fight against something. I'm planning to fight like hell against this illness, so I'm researching both Western and Eastern methods of treatment.
See also: fight, hell, like

fight fire with fire

To retaliate with the same methods that one has had to endure. Come on, it's time to fight fire with fire and start a nasty rumor about Tiffany, like she did to you.
See also: fight, fire

fight off

To push back or defend against someone or something that is advancing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fight" and "off." How will we fight off all these attackers? If you feel like you're getting a cold, these vitamin C tablets should help you to fight it off.
See also: fight, off

fight shy of (someone or something)

To try to avoid confronting or encountering someone or something. I'm naturally a peacemaker, so I always fight shy of tension.
See also: fight, of, shy

Fight fire with fire.

Prov. Use against your opponent the same methods he or she is using against you. After her opponent had spent several weeks slandering her, the candidate decided to fight fire with fire. When evangelists would come to our house and try to convert us, Mother would fight fire with fire and try to convert them to her religion.
See also: fight, fire

fight someone or something off

to repel an attack from someone or something. We fought the enemy attack off, but they returned almost immediately. She fought off the mosquitoes all evening. Jed fought the attacker off.
See also: fight, off

fight fire with fire

Combat an evil or negative circumstances by reacting in kind. For example, When the opposition began a smear campaign, we decided to fight fire with fire. Although ancient writers from Plato to Erasmus cautioned that one should not add fire to fire, this warning is not incorporated in the idiom, which was first recorded in Shakespeare's Coriolanus.
See also: fight, fire

fight off

Defend against, drive back, as in I've been fighting off a cold all week. This figurative use of the term, originally meaning "to repel an enemy" dates from the early 1800s.
See also: fight, off

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

fight like cat and dog

If two people fight like cat and dog, they frequently have violent arguments or fights with each other. My brother and I were very close in age and we used to fight like cat and dog. They had fought like cat and dog ever since he could remember, and he wondered how they'd managed to stay together.
See also: and, cat, dog, fight, like

fight fire with fire

If you fight fire with fire, you attack or criticize someone with force after they attack or criticize you with force. The military were not afraid of fighting fire with fire. Note: Other verbs such as meet or match are sometimes used instead of fight. Sometimes you just have to meet fire with fire.
See also: fight, fire

fight like Kilkenny cats

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If people fight like Kilkenny cats, they fight or disagree very violently. For six years Mr Wilder and Mr Robb have been fighting like Kilkenny cats. Note: This expression comes from the story of two cats in the Irish town of Kilkenny, which are said to have fought each other until only their tails were left.
See also: cat, fight, like

fight a rearguard action

COMMON If you fight a rearguard action, you try hard to stop something happening when there is little possibility that you will succeed. Groups, both on the left and the right, are still fighting a rearguard action against the plan. Note: Other verbs are sometimes used instead of fight, such as mount and stage. The opposition party have mounted a desperate, rearguard action against economic reforms. Note: You can also just talk about a rearguard action. However, the rearguard action may prove too late. Note: The rearguard of a retreating army is a unit which separates from the rest and acts as a defence while the rest of the army is getting away.
See also: action, fight

fight tooth and nail

If you fight tooth and nail for something, you fight as hard as you can to get it or achieve it. The independent regions are fighting tooth and nail to keep their special status. Note: You can also say that you fight tooth and claw to achieve something. Environmental groups are fighting tooth and claw to protect these forests. Note: Other verbs such as battle or resist can be used instead of fight. There are 12 League games left. We must battle tooth and nail for every one of them. Note: If you fight something tooth and nail or tooth and claw, you fight as hard as you can to stop it. Opponents of the law vowed to fight it tooth and nail. As a member of the council I fought the proposal tooth and claw.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fight like cat and dog

(of two people) be continually arguing with one another.
1995 Edward Toman Dancing in Limbo Her desertion of him hadn't come as a total surprise…for the pair of them had been fighting like cat and dog for the best part of a year.
See also: and, cat, dog, fight, like

fight fire with fire

use the weapons or tactics of your enemy or opponent, even if you find them distasteful.
1998 New Scientist Many opponents of biotechnology might say that they are simply fighting fire with fire. After all, the biotechnology industry is not averse to misquoting people when it suits them.
See also: fight, fire

fight tooth and nail

fight very fiercely.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fight ˌfire with ˈfire

use similar methods in a fight or an argument to those your opponent is using: The only way we can win this match is to fight fire with fire.
See also: fight, fire

fight like cat and ˈdog

(informal) argue fiercely very often: They fight like cat and dog, but they are really very fond of each other.
See also: and, cat, dog, fight, like

fight a ˌlosing ˈbattle

try without success to achieve or prevent something: I’m fighting a losing battle with my weight. I can’t lose any.The police are fighting a losing battle against car theft.
See also: battle, fight, losing

fight ˌtooth and ˈnail (for somebody/something/to do something)

fight in a very determined way for what you want: We fought the government tooth and nail to prevent the new road being built.She’s prepared to fight tooth and nail to get the job.
See also: and, fight, nail, tooth

fight off

v.
To defend against or drive back someone or something, such as a hostile force or an infection: The enemy is advancing, but the troops will fight them off. The doctor told me to rest so I can fight off this cold.
See also: fight, off

fight fire with fire

To combat one evil or one set of negative circumstances by reacting in kind.
See also: fight, fire
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.