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

to the bitter end

persevering to the end, whatever the outcome.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter ˈend

right to the end, no matter how long it takes; until everything possible has been done: Now that we have begun this project, we must see it through to the bitter end.We are determined to fight to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end
References in periodicals archive ?
You had to admire his courage and tenacity in fighting this horrible disease with so much strength of character to the bitter end.
A tightly-woven plot keeps the reader enthralled to the bitter end - crime writing at its best.
Opposite number Chris Hutchings said: "I thought Stourbridge fought to the bitter end.
Let It Be: My Daughter's Legacy" is a mother coming to terms with her daughter's death from brain cancer and her resolve to fight her cancer to the bitter end.
My fear is that it will be to the bitter end of the Labour Party.
Woe betide the newcomer who makes the mistake of regarding the average village green game as anything other than a contest to the bitter end.
Our faith, after all, tells us that death, rather than an enemy to be fought to the bitter end, is the necessary path to fullness of life.
Bill Clinton denied anything and everything to the bitter end and remained in office, impeachment or not.
Never seen this all the way through and I'll be impressed if you can stay to the bitter end.
This week's events have ripped me apart but I am still Sunderland to the bitter end.
Dennis is adamant McLaren will fight to the bitter end for both titles but concedes Raikkonen's plight is becoming desperate.
Canadian forest industry giants with large operations in Northern Ontario are prepared to fight duties on exported softwood lumber to the bitter end, in spite of a recent U.
Saturday's win wasn't pretty, but at least there was the old quality of a Liverpool team not giving up to the bitter end -and getting their reward.
But while David can be commended for quitting while he was ahead it seems that fellow wannabe Malachi Cush is determined to struggle on to the bitter end.
If all of the anchor cable has been payed out you have come to the bitter end.