a pitched battle
A volatile fight or argument. There was a pitched battle between both political parties before the election.
a pitched battlea fierce fight.
Literally, a pitched battle is one fought on a predetermined ground (the pitch ), as opposed to either a casual skirmish or a running battle (see running).
a ˌpitched ˈbattle
1 a fight that involves a large number of people: There was a pitched battle earlier today between police and demonstrators. Two hundred people were injured, ten seriously.
2 a military battle fought with soldiers arranged in prepared positions
pitched battle, a
An intense fight. Originally a pitched battle meant a battle that had been planned beforehand, with the ground “pitched on,” that is, chosen, and the opposing sides lined up in orderly fashion. The term was used to contrast it with a skirmish or chance encounter, and dates from about 1600. In time, however, it came to be used more loosely for any intense fight in which the combatants are fiercely engaged.
See also: pitch