knock-down, drag-out fight

a knock-down, drag-out fight

A fight, argument, or conflict that is lengthy, intense, and contentious. The phrase usually refers to non-physical quarrels, or athletic contests, but not actual violence. This meeting is shaping up to be a knock-down, drag-out fight between the two rival executives, who have each been trying to recruit allies. We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight, and it hasn't disappointed, with both sides relentlessly trying to gain an advantage.
See also: fight

knock-down, drag-out fight

a serious fight; a serious argument. Boy, they really had a knock-down, drag-out fight. Stop calling each other names, or you're going to end up with a real knock-down, drag-out fight.
See also: fight
References in periodicals archive ?
Harrisburg and Nashville girls squared off for the third time in as many years in a heavyweight fight that much like the other two battles were a knock-down, drag-out fight.
Rose tipped off, it was a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish in last season's semifinals of the NCAA Division 2 Northeast Regionals.
The couple went out on the roof terrace and had a knock-down, drag-out fight."
The key to this achievement is Clinton's budget plan, which passed through Congress in 1993 only after a knock-down, drag-out fight led by the President--a fight won with only the votes of a fractious Democratic party, and against a vehement and united Republican front.
But Eric got substantial visitation rights, which caused the subsequent knock-down, drag-out fight. Elizabeth went to great lengths to stop Eric from seeing Hilary, because she came to believe he was sexually abusing his daughter.
"He's just over all of their knock-down, drag-out fights. Those close to Julia are scared their marriage is going to end in divorce," the source added.