fight a rearguard action


fight a rearguard action
to try very hard to prevent something from happening when it is probably too late to prevent it.

The unions were fighting a rearguard action against the government's attempt to strip them of their powers.

(often + against)

New idioms dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rearguard action — noun 1. : a defensive or delaying fight engaged in by a rear guard (as in covering the retreat of an army or the evacuation of a besieged garrison) 2. : an effort put forth by means of preventive or delaying measures or tactics and usually… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • rearguard — /ˈrɪəgad/ (say reargahd) noun 1. a part of an army or military force detached from the main body to bring up and guard the rear from surprise attack, especially in a retreat. –phrase 2. fight a rearguard action, to struggle to make the best of a… …   Australian English dictionary

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