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".
Mr Blake was at a remembrance service at Esquelbecq, a few miles inland, where about 100 men of the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment and the Royal Artillery were taken prisoner, herded into a barn and massacred by the SS during the rearguard action to protect the beaches.
Summary: Bangladesh survived in day four of the first Test thanks to Junaid Siddique's rearguard action, but the result remains in little doubt.
Ross White also twice breached the visiting rearguard with further touch downs via Liam Lawton, Simon Verbickas and James Farrell.
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.
Smith revealed he had not planned to bat at all, but was caught up in the emotion of his team's gutsy rearguard campaign.
A brave rearguard action by Bangladesh tail-ender Mashrafe Mortaza was the highlight for the hosts as Sri Lanka strengthened their grip on day two of the second Test.
The Shrimpers took the lead when Simon Francis' long ball allowed Lee Barnard to nip in behind a static Cherries rearguard and slot home past Gareth Stewart.
7-mile distance to Hinton and then extend another 94 miles to Rearguard, BC using 36-inch diameter pipeline.
From rearguard to vanguard: selections from the Clark Atlanta University collection of African-American art.
The anguishing but rather rearguard horror of Bhopal (though, yes, it must be acknowledged that evil, like rust, never sleeps) gives way to a visit to Angkor Wat and an upsetting replay of the demonic Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
However, Greece's far left and far right are minority movements fighting a rearguard and futile battle, not unlike the Luddites who in centuries past quixotically battled industrialization.