red in tooth and claw

red in tooth and claw

Having, involving, or employing merciless and possibly cruel tactics during conflict or competition. Because there is a near-even split between the two parties in this state, politics tend to be red in tooth and claw come election time. Many want to do away with any and all regulation, allowing for a truly free market red in tooth and claw.
See also: and, claw, red, tooth

red in tooth and claw

LITERARY
If you describe a person, organization or activity as red in tooth and claw, you mean that they involve very competitive and sometimes cruel behaviour. My wife and I both now work for companies that are red in tooth and claw. He wanted to demonstrate that Labour is no longer red in tooth and claw, but a serious political party. Note: People talk about `nature red in tooth and claw' to describe the cruel way that wild creatures hunt and kill each other for food. This is a quotation from the poem `In Memoriam' (1850) by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. (Part 56, stanza 4)
See also: and, claw, red, tooth

red in tooth and claw

involving savage or merciless conflict or competition.
This phrase originated as a quotation from Tennyson's ‘In Memoriam’ ( 1850 ): ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’.
1998 Spectator Life is sharper on the shop floor, too; and for small business it is red in tooth and claw.
See also: and, claw, red, tooth

red in ˌtooth and ˈclaw

involving opposition or competition that is violent and without pity: nature, red in tooth and claw
See also: and, claw, red, tooth
References in periodicals archive ?
Nature may be red in tooth and claw, but in Wajdi Mouawad's outstanding novel, Anima, it's humans who are claw-deep in red and animals who benignly observe.
This time John Major getting red in tooth and claw to lacerate the Brexit case and its "court jester" Boris Johnson.
Predator versus prey; it's nature red in tooth and claw as Sir David Attenborough guides us through the battles of life and death.
But rather than presenting nature as red in tooth and claw, here it's as fluffy as a bunny's tail.
This tiger is not red in tooth and claw - he has had his teeth fixed, but his claws he has bitten away.
The stereotypical image is of collectors daintily wielding paddles in a choreographed performance of discreet desire, but perhaps what is really going on is a power play, a battle more red in tooth and claw than nature herself.
In place of tigers red in tooth and claw, white doves have cut the air in a rush of fluttery light.
And, as The Durham Miners found, if you give them the chance, our owners will come back red in tooth and claw if they can.
They are taken by bigger birds of prey and Brian said: "It is red in tooth and claw out there when all sorts of creatures want you for their breakfast.
Red Hill Street was red in tooth and claw, but particularly in tooth.
Still, perhaps we should not be sentimental about bears - creatures red in tooth and claw who often kill just for the fun of it, and who show precious little compassion when faced with blubbing human hunters in loud checked shirts.