adjective or adverb

: slugging it out at or as if at close range
a toe-to-toe confrontation over the new policy

Examples of toe-to-toe in a Sentence

mom-and-pop grocery stores are usually wildly outmatched when they go toe-to-toe with large chain stores
Recent Examples on the Web Now, after a stunning upset of Pakistan and a close loss to India in which the U.S went toe-to-toe with some of the greatest cricketers in the world, the national team — along with its breakout star Saurabh Netravalkar — has captured the attention of cricket diehards and newcomers alike. Becky Sullivan, NPR, 12 June 2024 For the second time in less than a week, the Hartford Yard Goats went toe-to-toe with one of the best pitchers in major league baseball. Kels Dayton, Hartford Courant, 9 June 2024 Meanwhile, Bob and Linda go toe-to-toe with a wine snob (Matt Walsh). Lillian Brown, Vulture, 17 May 2024 Some experts argue that a firm’s top leaders need to be paid more to go toe-to-toe on a global stage, while others think CEOs are being overpaid in comparison to the average employee. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune Europe, 30 May 2024 Imagine a hardcore Black gangsta rapper going toe-to-toe with a wild-eyed white indie rock freak in makeup and shiny black leather pants, as the two repeatedly, gleefully, refer to one another using racial slurs. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 21 May 2024 Nearly a century later, Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville remains a symbol of grandeur and glamour that easily goes toe-to-toe with the most spectacular stays in Barcelona and Madrid. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 20 May 2024 The two have gone toe-to-toe at the state meet each of the past three years, with Willis winning once and Rathke twice. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, 15 May 2024 Since then, she’s rolled with the Fast & Furious gang, joined the Maze Runner franchise and gone toe-to-toe with Kevin Hart in his Die Hart series. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toe-to-toe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of toe-to-toe was circa 1942

Dictionary Entries Near toe-to-toe

Cite this Entry

“Toe-to-toe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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