eyeball to eyeball

eyeball-to-eyeball

[ahy-bawl-tuh-ahy-bawl, -too-]
adjective, adverb
close or direct and often hostile; face-to-face: an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

Origin:
1960–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

eyeball to eyeball

Face to face; especially, about to begin a conflict. For example, We are eyeball to eyeball with the enemy, or In the playoffs we go eyeball to eyeball with the Yankees, or In the first debate our candidate's going eyeball to eyeball with his opponent. This term was originally used only in a military context but later entered civilian language, particularly in political or sports confrontations. [Colloquial; c. 1950]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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