to the bitter end


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to the bitter end

1. Until the point of completion or conclusion, even though it will likely be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach. Possibly of nautical origin, referring to the "bitts" on a dock to which a ship's ropes are moored. I'm not really enjoying this book, but I always make a point of sticking with a novel to the bitter end.
2. To the final or most critical extremity, such as death or total defeat. We might not have a chance of winning today, but we have to give it our all to the bitter end! My father stayed beside my dying mother's bed to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter end

 and till the bitter end
Fig. to the very end. (Originally nautical. This originally had nothing to do with bitterness.) I'll stay till the bitter end. It took me a long time to get through school, but I worked hard at it all the way to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter end

If you do something to the bitter end, you continue doing it in a determined way until you finish it, even though it becomes increasingly difficult. Despite another crushing defeat, he is determined to see the job through to the bitter end. They must carry on their battle to the bitter end, not only to get a fair deal for themselves, but for the sake of all British business. Note: Sailors used to refer to the end of a rope or chain that was securely tied as `the bitter end'. Bitts were posts on the ship's deck and ropes would be tied to these to secure the ship in a harbour.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter end

persevering to the end, whatever the outcome.
See also: bitter, end

to the bitter ˈend

right to the end, no matter how long it takes; until everything possible has been done: Now that we have begun this project, we must see it through to the bitter end.We are determined to fight to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

bitter end, (fight) to the

The last extremity, the conclusion of a tough battle or other difficult situation. The term comes from seamanship, where “the bitter end” is that part of the chain or anchor cable that is secured inside the vessel and is seldom used. It is so described in Captain Smith’s Seaman’s Grammar of 1627: “A bitter is but the turne of a Cable about the bitts, and veare it out by little and little. And the Bitter’s end is that part of the Cable doth stay within board.” It was sometimes spelled better; Daniel Defoe, in Robinson Crusoe (1719), described a terrible storm, saying, “We rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the better end.” A much earlier version is found in Chaucer’s The Squire’s Tale: “They demen gladly to the badder ende” (translated by the Reverend Walter W. Skeat as “worse end”).
See also: bitter
References in periodicals archive ?
Civilians and soldiers, generals and governors, resolved to fight to the bitter end.
The Bitter End Yacht Club, the five-star luxury watersport resort on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, in anticipation of its 40th anniversary in 2015, on Nov.5 announced today the opening of the Caribbean's first and only Adventure Center, a refresh of the resort, and the introduction of a brand-new skin and hair care line exclusive to The Bitter End. The 1,600 square foot openair palapa that houses the Adventure Center expands the watersports program at the resort, giving performance oriented sailors access to the Eustasia Sound for the first time, said Gordon Overing, Executive Managing Director of the resort.
But the poor badger has to live through it to the bitter end.
I would like to see the protesters get on their feet TO fight these projects to the bitter end.
FIFA member Mohamed Bin Hammam intends to fight allegations of bribery all the way to the bitter end - the 62-year-old telling friends he will not follow Jack Warner's example and resign.
"We are still very much alive and we will fight to the bitter end to stay in the First Division," Clarke said.
You had to admire his courage and tenacity in fighting this horrible disease with so much strength of character to the bitter end.
A tightly-woven plot keeps the reader enthralled to the bitter end - crime writing at its best.
"Let It Be: My Daughter's Legacy" is a mother coming to terms with her daughter's death from brain cancer and her resolve to fight her cancer to the bitter end. An inspiring story meant to help mothers coping with the diseases that their children face, "Let It Be" is a memoir that is sure to give strength to many a parent and their child during dark times.
"My fear is that it will be to the bitter end of the Labour Party.
Woe betide the newcomer who makes the mistake of regarding the average village green game as anything other than a contest to the bitter end.
Our faith, after all, tells us that death, rather than an enemy to be fought to the bitter end, is the necessary path to fullness of life.
Never seen this all the way through and I'll be impressed if you can stay to the bitter end. One of the worst films in recent memory.
This week's events have ripped me apart but I am still Sunderland to the bitter end.
Dennis is adamant McLaren will fight to the bitter end for both titles but concedes Raikkonen's plight is becoming desperate.