Definition of go to the mat in English:

go to the mat


  • Vigorously engage in an argument, especially on behalf of another.

    ‘we will go to the mat for those who are willing to help us out’
    • ‘And he says he's going to the mat against political pawns and media jackals.’
    • ‘One has to ask why an impoverished, rural, northern California county would be willing to go to the mat on this issue and spend potentially millions of dollars in legal fees.’
    • ‘That's why most of my posts focus on foreign policy and why I'm willing to go to the mat (no pun intended) to defend my views on the subject.’
    • ‘To the applause of numerous commentators, he went to the mat repeatedly on behalf of economic elites - eager for such measures as pro-business trade pacts, bailouts overseas and harsh ‘welfare reform’ at home.’
    • ‘Too many people are afraid to call themselves philosophical as opposed to political, as if that predisposed some cowardice, that you're unwilling to go to the mat for your beliefs.’
    • ‘For example, unions would surely go to the mat for repeal of laws sanctioning employers for hiring undocumented workers, and are likely to oppose any kind of temporary guest worker program.’
    • ‘My boss went to the mat for me on it, but it was clearly a done deal.’
    • ‘They really want to make them, and they'll go to the mat to make sure they get made.’
    • ‘What he is saying is that the voters of no state should be allowed to act on a different view - and that he will go to the mat to block the confirmation of judges who would allow them a say.’
    • ‘She is not going to the mat for some helpless whistleblower.’