rough and tumble

rough-and-tumble

[ruhf-uhn-tuhm-buhl]
adjective
1.
characterized by violent, random, disorderly action and struggles: a rough-and-tumble fight; He led an adventuresome, rough-and-tumble life.
2.
given to such action.
noun
3.
rough and unrestrained competition, fighting, struggling, etc.

Origin:
1785–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rough-and-tumble
 
n
1.  a fight or scuffle without rules
 
adj
2.  characterized by roughness, disorderliness, and disregard for rules or conventions

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

rough and tumble

Disorderly scuffling or infighting, as in She had some reservations about entering the rough and tumble of local politics. This expression originated in the late 1700s in boxing, where it referred to a fight without rules. [Mid-1800s]

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