fight to the death

fight to the death

1. verb Literally, to take part in a fight that will only end when one of the combatants is dead. It's a good thing the cops got here when they did—those two fools would have fought to the death.
2. verb By extension, to intensely pursue some outcome with a staunch commitment to refuse to accept defeat, compromise, or any form of resignation. They will fight to the death for positive change in the company's sexist culture.
3. noun Literally, a fight that will only end when one of the combatants is dead. Some prisoners were punished by being forced to have a fight to the death.
4. noun By extension, the intense pursuit of some outcome with a staunch commitment to refuse to accept defeat, compromise, or any form of resignation. They view it as a fight to the death for positive change in the company's sexist culture.
See also: death, fight

fight to the death

to engage in a battle that isn't finished until one opponent is dead. The two men looked as though they were going to fight to the death. These evil-tempered dogs will fight to the death.
See also: death, fight

fight to the death

COMMON If someone fights to the death to achieve something or keep something, they try extremely hard to achieve it or keep it. I have been teaching home economics for 18 years and I will fight to the death to keep my place in the curriculum. What drove them was a corporate culture that made them fight to the death for their firms. Note: You can also talk about a fight to the death. Jimmy White now faces a fight to the death to reach the quarter-finals of the Embassy World Snooker Championship.
See also: death, fight
References in classic literature ?
All of virtue and chivalry and true manhood which his old guardian had neglected to inculcate in the boy's mind the good priest planted there, but he could not eradicate his deep-seated hatred for the English or his belief that the real test of manhood lay in a desire to fight to the death with a sword.
When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the camp-fires, showing that they will not return to their tents, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death.
He shall fight to the death with one of these pigs from thy sty," and he pointed with his spear to the men of my father's kraal, "and the one who survives shall be run down as they tried to run you down.
Presently, filling Space, there sprang into being an Odour; and as it reached him Mr Ferguson stiffened in his chair, bracing himself as for a fight to the death. It was more than an odour.
Tarzan saw, and in the instant that he saw, Teeka was no longer the little playmate of an hour ago; instead she was a wondrous thing--the most wondrous in the world--and a possession for which Tarzan would fight to the death against Taug or any other who dared question his right of proprietorship.
'And then we shall fight to the death, sha'n't we, Nelly?' she returned, laughing.
Shere Khan might have faced Father Wolf, but he could not stand up against Mother Wolf, for he knew that where he was she had all the advantage of the ground, and would fight to the death. So he backed out of the cave mouth growling, and when he was clear he shouted:
Gary finds himself in a fight to the death with Rick
The 'Ocean's 8' star further stated she would "fight to the death" to take on those roles.
Thus, when the jihadists sent an emissary to Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra, who had dug in at City Hall, to hand the building over to them, the mayor's maratabat was piqued, leading him to reply that he was ready to declare a rido or clan war against them and fight to the death rather than surrender.
Asked about the fight for left back position after the signing of Theo Hernandez, he said, "Ever since I arrived, I have had to fight and do everything to be able to play, even if there wasn't another left-back." Marcelo praised Theo Hernandez's performance, saying, "Theo is very young, and he's going to help Real Madrid a lot; he has my total confidence and that of the coaches." Marcelo, 29 years old, talked about Real Madrid's ambition next season, saying, "My motivation is always the same, and I'll fight to the death with my team.
His soldiers danced to patriotic music on tanks and Iraqi state TV reported that prime minister Haider al-Abadi had arrived in the city to declare victory over IS, which now controls less than a square kilometre in the Old City, but is using human shields, suicide bombers and snipers in a fight to the death.
The French writer Voltaire once said: "Although I hate what you are saying, I will fight to the death for your rights to say it."
THE HUNGER GAMES 9.00pm, Film4 A totalitarian future-America holds an annual nationally televised event in which two children from each of its regions fight to the death until only one remains.