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pitched battle

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noun
  1. a battle in which the orderly arrangement of armed forces and the location have been predetermined.
  2. an encounter in which the antagonists are completely and intensely engaged: The dispute evolved into a pitched battle between management and labor.
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Origin of pitched battle

First recorded in 1600–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pitched battle

pitched battle

noun
  1. a battle ensuing from the deliberate choice of time and place, engaging all the planned resources
  2. any fierce encounter, esp one with large numbers
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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