slug it out


2 [sluhg] Informal.
verb (used with object), slugged, slugging.
to strike heavily; hit hard, especially with the fist.
to hit or drive (a baseball) very hard or a great distance.
verb (used without object), slugged, slugging.
to hit or be capable of hitting hard.
to trudge, fight, or push onward, as against obstacles or through mud or snow: The infantry slugged up the hill and dug in.
a hard blow or hit, especially with a fist or baseball bat.
slug it out,
to fight, especially with fists, until a decisive victory has been achieved.
to succeed or survive by constant and intense struggle.

1820–30; orig. in phrase hit with a slug; see slug1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
slug1 (slʌɡ)
1.  Compare sea slug any of various terrestrial gastropod molluscs of the genera Limax, Arion, etc, in which the body is elongated and the shell is absent or very much reducedRelated: limacine
2.  any of various other invertebrates having a soft slimy body, esp the larvae of certain sawflies
3.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) a slow-moving or lazy person or animal
Related: limacine
[C15 (in the sense: a slow person or animal): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian (dialect) sluggje]

slug2 (slʌɡ)
1.  an fps unit of mass; the mass that will acquire an acceleration of 1 foot per second per second when acted upon by a force of 1 pound. 1 slug is approximately equal to 32.17 pounds
2.  metallurgy a metal blank from which small forgings are worked
3.  a bullet or pellet larger than a pellet of buckshot
4.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) a metal token for use in slot machines, etc
5.  printing
 a.  a thick strip of type metal that is less than type-high and is used for spacing
 b.  a similar strip carrying a type-high letter, used as a temporary mark by compositors
 c.  a metal strip containing a line of characters as produced by a linecaster
6.  a draught of a drink, esp an alcoholic one
7.  a magnetic core that is screwed into or out of an inductance coil to adjust the tuning of a radio frequency amplifier
[C17 (bullet), C19 (printing): perhaps from slug1, with allusion to the shape of the animal]

slug3 (slʌɡ)
vb , slugs, slugging, slugged
1.  to hit very hard and solidly, as in boxing
2.  (US), (Canadian) (intr) to plod as if through snow
3.  informal (Austral), (NZ) (tr) to charge (someone) an exorbitant price
4.  informal slug it out to fight, compete, or struggle with fortitude
5.  an act of slugging; heavy blow
6.  informal (Austral), (NZ) an exorbitant charge or price
[C19: perhaps from slug² (bullet)]

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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Word Origin & History

"shell-less land snail," 1704, originally "lazy person" (1408); related to sluggard.

"lead bit," 1622, perhaps a special use of slug (1) with reference to its shape. Meaning "token or counterfeit coin" first recorded 1881; meaning "strong drink" first recorded 1756, perhaps from slang fire a slug "take a drink," though it also may be related to Ir. slog "swallow."

"a hard blow," 1830, dialectal, perhaps related to slaughter, slay, etc. The verb is recorded from 1862. Slugger first recorded 1877; slugfest is from 1916.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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