Lengthy, intense, and contentious. Although the phrase uses terms related to a physical fight, it 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 battle 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 game, and it hasn't disappointed, with both sides relentlessly trying to gain an advantage.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.