hell or high water

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

hell or high water

  1. (idiomatic) Highly adverse circumstances; acts of God.
    • 1998, Charles Rosen, Barney Polan's Game: A Novel of the 1951 College Basketball Scandals, page 11
      Even though sportswriters are supposed to be impartial, I'm a Brooklyn boyo and Dodger fan through hell or high water, so my beer is Schaefer.
    • 1999, Aaron Bernstein, Grounded: Frank Lorenzo and the Destruction of Eastern Airlines, page 44
      Bankers call this a hell-or-high-water deal because it protects the buyer from the directors and offers from other bidders.
    • 2002, John Foster West, Time Was, page 230
      Corn had to be hoed three times and plowed five in spite of hell or high water

Interjection[edit]

hell or high water

  1. No matter what the adverse circumstances.
    • 1987, James A. Michener, Texas, page 1040
      I am a man of my word, hell or high water.

Adverb[edit]

hell or high water (not comparable)

  1. No matter what the adverse circumstances.
    • 1992, Barbara Michaels, Vanish With the Rose, page 195
      "The barn goes down tomorrow, rain or shine, hell or high water, with your cooperation or without it."

Related terms[edit]