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[doo-er-dahy] /ˈdu ərˈdaɪ/
reflecting or characterized by an irrevocable decision to succeed at all costs; desperate; all-out:
a do-or-die attempt to halt the invaders.
involving a potentially fatal crisis or crucial emergency.
Origin of do-or-die
First recorded in 1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for do-or-die
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They listened attentively, and went out on the diamond with a do-or-die expression written on their faces.

  • Spud was up next, and this time his face wore a “do-or-die” look.

    The Rover Boys Down East Arthur M. Winfield
  • Plantagenet says nothing about it, but there is a do-or-die manner with him which is quite tragical.

    The Eustace Diamonds Anthony Trollope
  • We're stuck, Corbett, so lay off that last chance, do-or-die routine.

    Stand by for Mars! Carey Rockwell
  • The stranger had a most impressive and yet absurd air of drunken sternness written in his face, a do-or-die look.

    Twelve Men Theodore Dreiser
  • With Belden leading by one run, and the game almost over, Lakeville began the ninth inning with a do-or-die energy.

  • Brill came to the bat for the third time with a sort of do-or-die look on the faces of the players.

    The Rover Boys on a Tour Arthur M. Winfield
  • She would come back, flushed and a little troubled-looking, but would go on with the dance with a do-or-die expression.

British Dictionary definitions for do-or-die


(prenominal) of or involving a determined and sometimes reckless effort to succeed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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