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losing battle, a

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Also, a losing game. A failing effort or activity. For example, He's fighting a losing battle against putting on weight, or We think his candidacy is a losing game. These expressions, alluding to actual unsuccessful battles or games, have been used figuratively since the early 1600s. Also see lost cause.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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