the cut and thrust
the cut and thrustBRITISH
COMMON If you talk about the cut and thrust of a particular activity, you mean the lively, competitive and sometimes aggressive, way in which it is done. Why then does he want to go back into the cut and thrust of the airline business at an age when most men are happily retired? He seemed to actively enjoy the cut and thrust of politics. Note: You can also use the adjective cut-and-thrust. She has spent the past two years carving out a career as a production assistant in the cut-and-thrust world of advertising. Note: This expression comes from sword fighting.