a losing battle

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a losing battle

A failing or hopeless effort; a situation or activity that is ultimately futile or cannot be won. Most often used in the phrase "fight a losing battle." I'd give up trying to get your brother to agree to this deal if I were you, it looks like a losing battle at this point. You're fighting a losing battle if you think you can convince Sarah to go to college. It looks like I'm fighting a losing battle trying to get a raise from my boss.
See also: battle, losing
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

losing battle, a

Also, a losing game. A failing effort or activity. For example, He's fighting a losing battle against putting on weight, or We think his candidacy is a losing game. These expressions, alluding to actual unsuccessful battles or games, have been used figuratively since the early 1600s. Also see lost cause.
See also: losing
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.

a losing battle

a struggle that is bound to end in failure.
See also: battle, losing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

losing battle, (to fight) a

A hopeless undertaking that is nevertheless continued. See lost cause.
See also: losing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
said its findings suggest a "losing battle" is being fought against this crime.
You have set yourself a losing battle Without your fix, you start to rattle.
Buzon said the fight against those who trash human lives and deprive people of human dignity and basic rights 'is not a losing battle, our faith tells us otherwise.'
Celtic have been fighting a losing battle to keep Van Dijk at Parkhead all summer.
Abadi said in a joint press conference today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel : " We do not want to fight a losing battle with the terrorists in Nineveh, but preparations are underway to freeing Nineveh from Daash stressing that Iraq needs continued support from Germany and the countries of the international coalition to eliminate Daash, noting that the conflict with Daash will be long unless there is international support for Iraq ./End
But Locke believes they're fighting a losing battle - and says other clubs are right to have no sympathy for the Jambos.
London, Oct 26 ( ANI ): Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has said that he worries UEFA are fighting a losing battle following racist chanting directed at Yaya Toure in Moscow.
And although this series' unique selling point is the couple's sexuality, their losing battle against the aging process makes the jokes absolutely universal.
She added that such withdrawing candidates have obviously seen the message today: that it is Naya Pakistan Day and so they have chosen not to fight what for them is a losing battle!
The brave act has given Michael, who has waged a losing battle with crippling kidney disease for years, the chance of a normal life.
It is so, so sad we are fighting a losing battle, maybe if they had called it Newcastle South, as stupid as it was at the time, might that have been the answer?
It really seems like socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson is fighting a losing battle.
Everything seemed to be stacked against them as they fought what many commentators may have thought was a losing battle.
The Rev John Richards, who is the vicar of the parish, has worked exceedingly hard to maintain the upkeep of the church and churchyard, but is fighting a losing battle against vandalism.
Grimstock A losing battle Messers Roy, Dixon and Barlow may well be "horrified and appalled" at losing out to the exchanges, but most of us who read David Ashforth's analysis a few days ago already knew their battle was lost.