go toe to toe with someone
go toe-to-toe with (someone)
To engage in direct conflict with someone, possibly in close quarters. Adam is going toe-to-toe with Joe out in the schoolyard! I almost got hit with a punch as I walked by! The literary magazine is going toe-to-toe with the science club for extra funding this year.
See also: go
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go toe to toe with someonemainly AMERICAN
If you go toe to toe with a person or organization, you fight, argue, or compete with them fiercely and directly. The company is still not strong enough to go toe to toe with their rivals. Note: You can also say that someone stands toe to toe with another person or organization. They do not stand toe to toe as enemies, as people sometimes think. Note: Toe to toe is used in many other structures to do with fighting, arguing or competing fiercely and directly. If this strategy didn't work, he'd just fight it out toe to toe until there was nothing left to fight with. Note: You can also use toe-to-toe before a noun. Toe-to-toe confrontations have harmed the project.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012