tug-of-war

noun
\ ˌtəg-ə(v)-ˈwȯr \
plural tugs-of-war

Definition of tug-of-war 

1 : a struggle for supremacy or control usually involving two antagonists

2 : a contest in which two teams pull against each other at opposite ends of a rope with the object of pulling the middle of the rope over a mark on the ground

First Known Use of tug-of-war

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tug-of-war

Share tug-of-war

Statistics for tug-of-war

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tug-of-war

The first known use of tug-of-war was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tug-of-war

tug-of-war

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tug-of-war

: a contest in which two teams pull against each other at opposite ends of a rope

: a struggle between two people or groups to win control or possession of something

tug-of-war

noun
\ ˌtəg-əv-ˈwȯr \
plural tugs-of-war

Kids Definition of tug-of-war

1 : a contest in which two teams pull against each other at opposite ends of a rope

2 : a struggle to win The racers were in a tug-of-war for the championship.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tug-of-war

What made you want to look up tug-of-war? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!