to the bitter end

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to the bitter end

1. Until the point of completion or conclusion, even though it may be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach. Possibly of nautical origin, referring to the "bitts" on a dock to which a ship's ropes are moored. I'm not really enjoying this book, but I always make a point of sticking with a novel to the bitter end.
2. To the final or most critical extremity, such as death or total defeat. We might not have a chance of winning today, but we have to give it our all to the bitter end! My father stayed beside my dying mother's bed to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter end

 and till the bitter end
Fig. to the very end. (Originally nautical. This originally had nothing to do with bitterness.) I'll stay till the bitter end. It took me a long time to get through school, but I worked hard at it all the way to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter end

If you do something to the bitter end, you continue doing it in a determined way until you finish it, even though it becomes increasingly difficult. Despite another crushing defeat, he is determined to see the job through to the bitter end. They must carry on their battle to the bitter end, not only to get a fair deal for themselves, but for the sake of all British business. Note: Sailors used to refer to the end of a rope or chain that was securely tied as `the bitter end'. Bitts were posts on the ship's deck and ropes would be tied to these to secure the ship in a harbour.
See also: bitter, end
References in periodicals archive ?
I still believe a last-minute agreement is possible after both Athens and Brussels have shown to their respective audiences at home that they have fought till the bitter end.
The reward for staying till the bitter end is a piping hot bowl of holiday warmth.
The pantomime performed by the political charlatans of AKEL -- appropriately described as brainless by the Archbishop -- had to continue till the bitter end, yet the truth is that if they had their way, the co-ops would not have opened again.
As long as you don't pressure the birds too hard they will hang around till the bitter end, allowing you to shoot the same field every couple days without forcing birds to make the decision to fly further south.
London, Mar 12( ANI ): Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has vowed to keep fighting till the bitter end to claim the club's first title since 1968 after losing their top spot to rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
There are distinct signs of improvement in their play and the team has definitely fought till the bitter end against fancied rivals such as Australia, Spain and England.
This is one of the few consistently engaging programmes still going, which probably means it's due for the chop, but I'll keep watching right up till the bitter end.
Male sports stars, such as British footballer Paul Gasgoine struggled on till the bitter end, while boxer Mohammed Ali took punches long after he should have retired.
Whatever happens though, we'll give it our best shot and fight till the bitter end.
BATTLE-SCARRED St Mirren ace Gary Mason has warned his team-mates to be wary of Gretna because he knows they'll keep believing in survival till the bitter end.
To have jumped into 6th place in the Constructor's Championship is fantastic, albeit we know there is still so much to play for and given how many teams are working on package upgrades, we will keep pushing hard right till the bitter end.
The only problem is, Nicol Edwards shuts at 3am, seven days, so stay till the bitter end and you don't have a ghost of a chance of making it to work the next day.
But otherwise, the government will fight till the bitter end to preserve workers' conquests and rights.