pitched battle

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pitched battle (plural pitched battles)

  1. (military) A hostile engagement involving sustained, full-scale fighting between opposing forces in close combat.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, act 1, scene 2:
      Have I not in a pitched battle heard
      Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) An intense, rancorous argument or confrontation.
    • 1889, Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, chapter 13:
      At every post where we changed horses and drivers, we had a pitched battle with the driver for more money than we had been told was the regular rate.