bitter-end

bitter end

[bit-er end for 1; bit-er end for 2]
noun
1.
the conclusion of a difficult or unpleasant situation; the last or furthest extremity: Despite the unpleasant scenes in the movie, she insisted on staying until the bitter end.
2.
Nautical.
a.
the inboard end of an anchor chain or cable, secured in the chain locker of a vessel.
b.
the end of any chain or cable.

Origin:
1620–30 in form bitters end; probably bitt + er1, later taken as bitter

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bitter end
 
n
1.  nautical the end of a line, chain, or cable, esp the end secured in the chain locker of a vessel
2.  a.  to the bitter end until the finish of a task, job, or undertaking, however unpleasant or difficult
 b.  until final defeat or death
 
[C19: in both senses perhaps from bitt]

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