to fight tooth and nail

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - fight tooth and nail

"to fight tooth and nail"

to try very hard, using all of your resources, to get something you want;

to engage in vigorous combat


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - fight tooth and nail

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  It looks like there are three possible candidates up for one available promotion.

Colleague 2:  Do you think there will be heavy competition for the job?

Colleague 1:  I believe that the three candidates will fight tooth and nail for the promotion. They will use every available means to get what they want.

Colleague 2:  So we can expect some unrest around the office?

Colleague 1:  There is going to be a lot of fierce activity and all three candidates will be looking for whatever advantages might be available. Tempers could flare.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - fight tooth and nail

Two teachers are talking ...

Teacher 1:  If you can imagine, I had to intervene in a fight between two little girls during recess this morning.

Teacher 2:  What was the dispute?

Teacher 1:  The two girls were fighting tooth and nail over whose doll was the prettiest.

Teacher 2:  They must have felt very strongly about the subject to actually physically fight over it.

to fight tooth and nail - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   853   click for frequency by country

to fight tooth and nail - Gerund Form:

Fighting tooth and nail, the two politicians used every resource at their disposals to win the election.

to fight tooth and nail - Examples:

1)  Still, those first nations leaders who spoke were firm that they will fight tooth and nail to stop the pipeline, despite the financial resources of the companies that ...

2)  ... whatever interest group is behind that tax break is going to fight tooth and nail to keep it.

3)  ... could not have changed the entire system. He had to fight tooth and nail to even get what he got. 

4)  The insurance companies can choose who they cover to reduce risk, fight tooth and nail to decrease payouts, ...

5)  ... creating a surplus of workers who then fight tooth and nail for one year, non-tenure track positions at some school in Utah.

6)  As I recall, we had to fight tooth and nail to get, first, domestic partnerships, then civil unions, then ...

7)  Is there any reason to think that Catholic officials won't fight tooth and nail to prevent any headway in the secular battle for women's rights?

8)  ... that the team never took their foot of the gas. Instead, they fought tooth and nail for every goal scored and every puck battle won ...

9)  ... cancer research was pursued, and the tobacco industry fought tooth and nail against the prohibitionists.

10)  There, a similarly entrenched army and other elements of the state fought tooth and nail to keep democratic forces at bay for decades.

11)  For years the green nutcases have fought tooth and nail to ban proper forestry practices.

12)  Although he had fought tooth and nail in the semis, it was clear Lemaitre was not quite the man ...

13)  Any attempts to prevent voter fraud are fought tooth and nail.

14)  A realist. A fighter. A woman who like many, has fought tooth and nail for every single thing she has. Who has struggled, who has ...

15)  There are many battles in life worth fighting tooth and nail for, getting out of your wireless contract isn't one of them.

16)  But personal tragedies and professional missteps now find her 75 years old and fighting tooth and nail to get back on top.

17)  ... appear to be on the censorship side, while their Conservative counterparts are fighting tooth and nail in their support for free speech.

18)  ... that many small business owners and entrepreneurs treat their markets as a battlefield, fighting tooth and nail for what is mostly worthless market share.

19)  My son is extremely active, and my husband and I have been fighting tooth and nail to keep him from being labeled ADHD. 

20)  The digital couponing business has spawned so many competitors that they're all fighting tooth and nail.