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be hell-bent on (something)

To be very determined to do something, perhaps to an excessive degree. She's hell-bent on coming here for Thanksgiving, so we better clean the guest room. I'm hell-bent on getting an A on this exam, so I've been studying all week.
See also: on

go hell-bent for leather

To move, act, or do something very quickly or as quickly as possible. When her ex-boyfriend walked into the party, Patty went hell-bent for leather to get out of there. The political candidates have been going hell-bent for leather trying to get last-minute support from voters ahead of Friday's election.
See also: for, go, leather


Very determined to do something, perhaps annoyingly or recklessly so. She's hell-bent on coming here for Thanksgiving, so we better clean the guest room. I'm hell-bent on getting an A on this exam, so I've been studying all week.

hell-bent for (something)

Moving toward some place or thing very quickly and/or recklessly. I always find myself yelling at other drivers when I'm hell-bent for work.
See also: for

hell-bent for leather

Very quickly or as quickly as possible. The "leather" in the phrase is thought to refer to a horse's saddle or whip. When her ex-boyfriend walked into the party, Patty went hell-bent for leather to get out of there.
See also: for, leather

ride hell-bent for leather

To ride (something, especially a horse) as fast as possible. The notorious thief leapt onto his horse with the stolen diamonds and rode hell-bent for leather toward the hills. Riding hell-bent for leather like that on your motorcycle is going to get you killed one of these days.
See also: for, leather, ride
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hell-bent for leather

Inf. moving or behaving recklessly; riding a horse fast and recklessly. They took off after the horse thief, riding hell-bent for leather. Here comes the boss. She's not just angry; she's hell-bent for leather.
See also: for, leather
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hell-bent for leather

Moving recklessly fast, as in Out the door she went, hell-bent for leather. The use of hell-bent in the sense of "recklessly determined" dates from the first half of the 1800s. Leather alludes to a horse's saddle and to riding on horseback; this colloquial expression may be an American version of the earlier British army jargon hell for leather, first recorded in 1889.
See also: for, leather
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.

hell-bent for leather

Moving rapidly and with determination. “Hell” in this case strengthens the word “bent,” which means a direct route (although it sounds as though it should mean the opposite). “Leather” refers either to a saddle or to a whip used to urge a horse to move faster, or perhaps items. “Hell for leather” meaning “all deliberate haste” was a popular phrase in itself. Among a number of variants is “hell-bent for election,” said to have originated with the 1840 Maine gubernatorial race and appearing in an 1899 Stephen Crane story: “One puncher racin' his cow-pony hell-bent-for-election down Main Street.” Others are “hell-bent for breakfast,” “for Sunday,” and “for Georgia.”
See also: for, leather
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Everyone comes up to look at Hellbent and we have to sign plenty of autographs for the audience.
Of course, he adds -- with a little pride coming through his tangy accent -- it makes sense that Australians are hellbent on developing extremely high-quality antivenins.
Yet where Churchill was able to forge international alliances for the good of the country, Johnson is hellbent on tearing us from the world's biggest trading bloc in the most destructive way possible.
BRECHIN v QUEEN OF STH GARY NAYSMITH reckons Brechin will be hellbent on finishing the season with a victory to avoid going through the entire campaign without one.
If you're a decent and reasonable personand not, say, a Holocaust-denying dictatorial maniac hellbent on oppressing his own people and inciting religious waryou'd probably want to shy away from anything that suggests you're into, you know, bloodshed.
On social care and pensions, this nasty woman and her party are hellbent on dividing this country.
Benilde and the graduating Blazer is hellbent on leaving the school a champion.
In contrast, she said, PM Theresa May appeared to be "hellbent" on "hard Brexit" - an outcome she argues was not on the ballot paper.
I feel you would not dare print my comments regarding this pathetic creature who like his allies are hellbent on destroying our country.
Thatcher's government was hellbent on destroying the mining industry, which they achieved.
Put a cold beer or two into the dude and you'll unleash a skate beast hellbent on spot destruction.
The majority of Coventry citizens obviously vote for a Labour council at election time, or they wouldn't be there, so isn't it time for those people to change their vote and remove what is an incompetent council, hellbent on wasting our money at every turn.
Greece is one of the nations which can't really afford membership yet were welcomed by an EU hellbent on creating a Federal Europe.
Veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the communal and the fascist forces in India with the full backing of BJPled government were hellbent upon eliminating the internationally disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Thug Breen, 34, who sources claim has been running his criminal empire from behind bars, is apparently hellbent on showing other gangs who have set up on his patch that he is in charge.