fight a rearguard action

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Related to rearguard: rearguard action

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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
500 Marathon: 1 Rearguard Bond, 2 Evanta De Leon, 3 Coologue Gem, 4 Pharisee Flyer (m), 5 Borwick Dazzler (m), 6 High Falcon (m).
Blues were fighting a decent rearguard action to ALBION In the end the heavenly intervention favoured the home team as Geoff Horsfield headed a winner five minutes into stoppage time to cement his reputation as the man for a derby.
Kolkata: Describing as 'frustrating' India's rearguard resistance led by Ravichandran Ashwin which thwarted England's bid for an innings victory, English pacer Steve Finn Saturday credited the bowlers for "sticking to the plans".
The Arsenal manager feels much of that is down to having a settled rearguard, with the return to fitness of full-backs Kieran Gibbs - who scored his first league goal - and Bacary Sagna allowing a more balanced feel to their rearguard action.
And TN suffered injuries to North East duo Natalie Connor and Marie Ewing before mounting a brave rearguard action.
John Davis, who fought in the rearguard, described seeing "headless and limbless torsos with stomachs ripped out".
Former soldier John Davis, who fought in the rearguard said that "the sweet smell of death" was overwhelming as he and his comrades battled the German forces on the famous shoreline.
ENGLAND still do not have a settled rearguard going into the World Cup and it gets more concerning as the tournament draws closer.
And though Rothwell came back determinedly in the dying throes to score twice with Robbie Maddox and Martin Blakey breaching the Adders' rearguard, the Sheepy Roaders held out somewhat nervously to secure their seventh away league victory of the season.
Summary: Bangladesh survived in day four of the first Test thanks to Junaid Siddique's rearguard action, but the result remains in little doubt.
The Ecuadorian forward fed strike partner Cameron Jerome for both his first-half goals and caused the Pompey rearguard all manner of problems in the opening 45 minutes.
Ross White also twice breached the visiting rearguard with further touch downs via Liam Lawton, Simon Verbickas and James Farrell.
SCOTLAND 9 AUSTRALIA 8 SCOTLAND completed one of the greatest rearguard victories in recent Test history to beat Australia for the first time in 27 years.
Yorkshire did, at least, stage a rearguard action to grab a vital draw after Nottinghamshire had looked odds on to win at Scarborough.
ALLAN Mc GREGOR last night hailed the influence of Madjid Bougherra on the Ibrox rearguard.