See more synonyms for do-or-die on
  1. reflecting or characterized by an irrevocable decision to succeed at all costs; desperate; all-out: a do-or-die attempt to halt the invaders.
  2. involving a potentially fatal crisis or crucial emergency.

Origin of do-or-die

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for do-or-die

frantic, last-gasp, do-or-die, desperate, final

Examples from the Web for do-or-die

Contemporary Examples of do-or-die

  • Soon after, Kim visited a naval base and ordered the navy to “raise heroes for do-or-die squads at sea.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Time to Talk to the Dictator

    Mike Chinoy

    May 25, 2010

  • There is some evidence that Geithner himself knows that this is do-or-die time.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is Geithner Toast?

    Charlie Gasparino

    January 26, 2010

Historical Examples of do-or-die

British Dictionary definitions for do-or-die


  1. (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