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tooth and nail

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adverb

with all one's resources or energy; fiercely: We fought tooth and nail but lost.

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Origin of tooth and nail

First recorded in 1525–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Cultural definitions for tooth and nail

tooth and nail

To fight “tooth and nail” is to fight with the intensity and ferocity of a wild animal: “The resistance forces fought the invading troops tooth and nail.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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