to the death

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

to the death

  1. (set phrase, of a contest) That will continue until one of the contestants dies.
    The two gladiators fought to the death.
  2. (idiomatic) To the utmost degree.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], →OCLC, part I, page 208:
      Then, alluding with a toss of the head to the tumult in the station-yard, ‘When one has got to make correct entries, one comes to hate those savages - hate them to the death.’ He remained thoughtful for a moment.

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