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War to the knife

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • War to the knife mortal combat; a conflict carried to the last extremity.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • War to the knife mortal combat
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cníf: Ger. kneif, knife, kneifen, to nip.

Usage

In literature:

War to the knife was declared and carried on; red and white killed each other on sight.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Since then, until lately, it has been war to the knife.
""Where Angels Fear to Tread" and Other Stories of the Sea" by Morgan Robertson
There was no truce, no relaxation; it was war to the knife.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 2 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
War to the knife, for sartin!
"The Land of Fire" by Mayne Reid
By this time they were both thoroughly embittered, and it was war to the knife.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866" by Various
War to the knife, Miss Tootsie!
"Skippy Bedelle" by Owen Johnson
There was war to the knife between him and me.
"A Stable for Nightmares" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
Let Schenk look out; it is war to the knife!
"Two Daring Young Patriots" by W. P. Shervill
War to the knife with the rebels is the watchword.
"Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863" by Adam Gurowski
I, on the contrary, declare war to the knife to all States, even the most democratic.
"Anarchism and Socialism" by George Plechanoff
It was war to the knife, and Charley knew it, but he blinked his eyes and stood firm.
"Shadow Mountain" by Dane Coolidge
Well, I accept the challenge: war to the knife.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV" by Robert Louis Stevenson
You have wanted war to the knife.
"The Adventures of the U-202" by E. Spiegel
A chief responded in a like strain, then another and another, until twelve had spoken for war to the knife.
"Little Oskaloo" by Thomas Chalmers Harbaugh
After this the boys declared it was war to the knife.
"The Fortunes of Philippa" by Angela Brazil
I laughed at that, though I knew it meant war to the knife.
"Making Money" by Owen Johnson
But now my patience is at an end; there will be war to the knife between him over the way and me.
"The Lost Manuscript" by Gustav Freytag
She dried her eyes and in her inmost heart she declared war against this woman, war to the knife and to the uttermost.
"The Westerners" by Stewart Edward White
After that, war to the knife.
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai
On the present occasion, several of the village lads assembled vowed war to the knife against the men they had fought with.
"William Shakespeare as he lived." by Henry Curling
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In poetry:

Oh! but it's war to the knife, man!
Selfish and desperate strife, man!
Nothing will serve
But resolute nerve
To battle the battle of life, man!
"The Way Of The World" by Martin Farquhar Tupper

In news:

Enyo (i-nye-oh) - a fitting name for this neck knife, Enyo, was an ancient goddess of war, acting as a counterpart and companion to the war god Ares.
The Star Wars legend consulted doctors after discovering the growth was a non-cancerous basal cell carcinoma and recently went under the knife to treat the condition.
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