struggle to the death

struggle to the death

 
1. Lit. a bitter struggle ending in death. The wolf and the elk fought in a struggle to the death.
2. Fig. a serious problem with someone or something; a difficult challenge. I had a terrible time getting my car started. It was a struggle to the death, but it finally started.
See also: death, struggle
References in classic literature ?
When he first emerges into the night air, nothing around him is still or steady; nothing around him shows like what it is; he only knows that he stands with a bare head in the midst of a blood-red whirl, waiting to be struggled with, and to struggle to the death.
Picture today's executives as generals leading troops across a rugged, unmapped, quake-prone battlefield, against many different armies in a struggle to the death that never ends.
This will be a struggle to the death over Labour's investment in the economy and hope for the future, versus Conservative cuts under the harsh regime of an old Etonian toff.
To be sure, maledicta can concentrate a loose coalition into a common inflamed antipathy, mobilizing slogans of great value in a struggle to the death.
One is reminded of Hegel's struggle to the death between master and servant.
His earlier account of the siege of Stalingrad displayed a unique gift for revealing the humanity behind the uniforms of German and Russian of the people caught up in a struggle to the death.
But he is not immune to behaving like an opposed self-consciousness in Hegel's bleak formula; hence, he is prepared to slit the blond man's throat, to engage in a struggle to the death.
A scene between Dryden and his young disciple, Flipper, sets up the relationship with skill, economy and not a little black humour - but a climactic struggle to the death in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle produced sniggers at the screening I attended.