do-or-die

[ doo-er-dahy ]
/ ˈdu ərˈdaɪ /

adjective

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

Definition for do or die (2 of 2)

Origin of do

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English dōn; cognate with Dutch doen, German tun; akin to Latin -dere to put, facere to make, do, Greek tithénai to set, put, Sanskrit dadhāti (he) puts
Can be confuseddew do dew

Synonym study

3. Do, accomplish, achieve mean to bring some action to a conclusion. Do is the general word: He did a great deal of hard work. Accomplish and achieve both connote successful completion of an undertaking. Accomplish emphasizes attaining a desired goal through effort, skill, and perseverance: to accomplish what one has hoped for. Achieve emphasizes accomplishing something important, excellent, or great: to achieve a major breakthrough.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for do or die (1 of 5)

DO


abbreviation for

Doctor of Optometry
Doctor of Osteopathy

British Dictionary definitions for do or die (2 of 5)

do-or-die


adjective

(prenominal) of or involving a determined and sometimes reckless effort to succeed

British Dictionary definitions for do or die (3 of 5)

do

1
/ (duː, unstressed , ) /

verb does, doing, did or done

noun plural dos or do's

Word Origin for do

Old English dōn; related to Old Frisian duān, Old High German tuon, Latin abdere to put away, Greek tithenai to place; see deed, doom

British Dictionary definitions for do or die (4 of 5)

do

2
/ (dəʊ) /

noun plural dos

a variant spelling of doh 1

British Dictionary definitions for do or die (5 of 5)

do

3

the internet domain name for

Dominican Republic
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

Idioms and Phrases with do or die

do or die


Exert supreme effort because failure is close at hand, as in Carol was going to set up the computer, do or die. This hyperbolic expression in effect says one will not be deterred by any obstacle. [c. 1600]

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