Definition of tug of war in English:

tug of war


  • 1A contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.

    • ‘Tuggers is a ‘no frills story of five women trying out for a place on the local tug of war team.’’
    • ‘The final event was a well-fought tug of war with John's team taking a convincing win.’
    • ‘The resulting sports extravaganza included a tug of war tournament and volleyball in the quadrangle, where pupils are not normally allowed to play on the grass.’
    • ‘However a parade through the town brought in the crowds, and the day ended on a high note with competitions to find the best dressed St George and Maiden, a tug of war and pancake race.’
    • ‘There are several teams lined up for the tug of war but more are welcome to come and test their strength against the champions.’
    • ‘More than 300 people involved in education participated in the sports, which consisted of football, running races, Thai lawn bowling and a tug of war.’
    • ‘The blue team dominated the day-long event winning in six disciplines, soccer, pool, table tennis, tug of war and volleyball while their rivals won chess, draughts and rugby.’
    • ‘The challenges that the team will face will be: 100 metres sprint, swimming relay, gym tests, tug of war and a mile running relay.’
    • ‘This did not deter the tug of war teams as they slid and tugged on the rope or the audience who cheered them on.’
    • ‘Men and women wishing to take part in the tug of war contests can contact the chairman or any member of the committee.’
    • ‘Anyone wishing to get further information about the tug of war team should contact Paul.’
    • ‘Choose from billiards, horseshoes, tag games, hockey, Frisbee, tug of war, jump ropes, running, or bowling, just to name a few.’
    • ‘For those who stayed around after the ceremony there were plenty of activities planned including traditional dances and long drums, greased pole climbing contests, tug of war, and a version of kick the can.’
    • ‘This year will feature underage football for boys and girls, races for tiny tots, a ladies tug of war - with teams of eight - and a veteran men's match.’
    • ‘A garrulous tug of war was going on at the furthest field, the teams mostly made up of stocky boys and girls who cheered each time a team came tumbling down, beaten by their brawnier opponents.’
    • ‘Tug O’ War teams from throughout Laois will be testing their strength in the tug of war contest.’
    • ‘There was football, netball, basketball, cricket, tug of war, relay races, wa-wee, dominoes and several events for children.’
    • ‘Kids and adults played tug of war and held sack races.’
    • ‘Attractions included the District Youth Band, a tug of war, children's races, a barbecue and refreshments.’
    • ‘A tug of war contest between the village rugby and football clubs entertained the crowds, as did a welly throwing contest and bird of prey demonstration.’
    1. 1.1A situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing.
      ‘a tug of war between builders and environmentalists’
      • ‘The major powers are engaged in a tug of war over interests in the region.’
      • ‘Maybe complete sincerity in presenting our common problems would end the tug of war between local political, ethnic, social and other opposing groups.’
      • ‘There's long been a tug of war over the control of computing assets in big companies.’
      • ‘Under normal conditions there is a dynamic balance of tension such that the two sides alternatively win the tug of war across the growth cone and directional persistence times are short.’
      • ‘We can expect a protracted tug of war, which may drag on until the review deadline draws near.’


tug of war