bitter end

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The figurative usage is influenced by bitter (unpleasant, arduous).

Noun[edit]

bitter end (plural bitter ends)

  1. (nautical) That part of an anchor cable which is abaft the bitts and thus remains inboard when a ship is riding at anchor.
    pay out a rope to the bitter end (pay out all of the rope)
  2. (nautical) The final six fathoms of anchor chain before the point of attachment in the chain locker of modern US naval vessels.
  3. (idiomatic) The end of a long and difficult process.

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