grit one's teeth

Idioms & Phrases

grit one's teeth

Summon up one's strength to face unpleasantness or overcome a difficulty. For example, Gritting his teeth, he dove into the icy water. This expression uses grit in the sense of both clamping one's teeth together and grinding them with effort. [Late 1700s]

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