every man for himself


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every man for himself

Each person must work independently toward their own success, as in competitive situations. The phrase is not only used in reference to men. It's always been every man for himself in this industry. You can't rely on anyone else to help you get ahead. A: "We've got to wait for the rest of the squad!" B: "The squad has been completely scattered by the surprise attack. If any of us are going to make it back to base alive, it's every man for himself."
See also: every, for, himself, man
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Every man for himself (and the devil take the hindmost),

 and Devil take the hindmost
Prov. Everyone has to fight for his or her own survival. (You can use this to describe an extremely competitive situation.) At first we tried to help each other study for the exam, but soon it was every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost. The inventors tried to collaborate, agreeing to share the profits from their invention, but they grew so suspicious of each other that each began to work separately, and devil take the hindmost. When the ship began to sink, it was every man for himself.
See also: every, for, himself, man
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

every man for himself

Each individual puts his or her own interests foremost. For example, In this company no one helps anyone-it's every man for himself. In Chaucer's day this dictum was stated approvingly, meaning "if you don't look out for yourself, no one else will," but today such selfishness is usually censured. Despite the wording, the term applies to either sex.
See also: every, for, himself, man
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

every man for himself

everyone must take care of themselves and their own interests and safety.
This expression has been used since medieval times, but from the mid 16th century onwards it has often been expanded to every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost or, less commonly, every man for himself and God for us all .
1997 Daniel Quinn My Ishmael Tribes survive by sticking together at all costs, and when it's every man for himself, the tribe ceases to be a tribe.
See also: every, for, himself, man
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

it’s every ˌman for himˈself

(saying) you must think about your own interests, safety, etc. first, before the interests, etc. of other people: In business, it’s every man for himself.
See also: every, for, himself, man
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

every man for himself

Everyone looks out for his or her best interest. Originally this phrase expressed approval. It appeared in Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale (“Ech man for him-self, ther is non other”), implying that if one did not look out for oneself no one else would. It was included in John Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection (“Praie and shifts eche one for himselfs, as he can, every man for himselfs, and God for us all”). This latter turn of phrase (with “God for all”) occurs with minor variations in numerous languages, including French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. Slightly later versions changed God to the devil (see also devil take the hindmost)—in print by 1574— and it is probably from this locution that the modern meaning of the cliché, describing not-so-admirable selfishness, is derived.
See also: every, for, himself, man
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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