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grit (one's) teeth
1. To clench one's teeth, as from anger, pain, or displeasure. The doctor didn't have any anesthetic, so all I could do was grit my teeth while he stitched the wound in my leg. He narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth after overhearing the insults from the man behind him.
2. To become resolved to do or accept something particularly difficult or unpleasant. If you hate this class so much, you better grit your teeth and get a passing grade so that you don’t have to take it again next year. The senators put aside their differences, gritted their teeth, and worked together to solve the crisis.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
grit one's teeth
Fig. to grind or clench one's teeth together in anger or determination. I was so mad, all I could do was stand there and grit my teeth. All through the race, Sally was gritting her teeth. She was really determined.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
grit one's teeth
Summon up one's strength to face unpleasantness or overcome a difficulty. For example, Gritting his teeth, he dove into the icy water. This expression uses grit in the sense of both clamping one's teeth together and grinding them with effort. [Late 1700s]
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.
grit one's teeth, to
To summon up strength to bear pain, misfortune, or some other unpleasant matter, or determination for a difficult task. The idea of setting one’s teeth goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Menander wrote, “Set your teeth and endure” (The Girl from Samos, ca. 300 b.c.). “Gritting the teeth” describes both setting or clamping them together and grinding them with the effort. In 1797 Thomas Jefferson described his colleague, “Mr. Adams . . . gritting his teeth, said . . .”
See also: grit
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer