thick and thin



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thick and thin (uncountable)

  1. Both thickets and thin woodland; (through) all obstacles in a path.
    • c. 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Reeve's Tale", Canterbury Tales, Ellesmere ms:
      Toward the fen / ther wilde Mares renne / fforth with wehee / thurgh thikke and thurgh thenne []
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      His tyreling Jade he fiersly forth did push / Through thicke and thin, both over banck and bush []
  2. (idiomatic) Both good and bad times.
    • 1687, John Phillips (translator), Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
      I must follow him through thick and thin.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hudibras and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Through thick and thin she followed him.
    • (Can we date this quote by Coleridge and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He became the panegyrist, through thick and thin, of a military frenzy.

Derived termsEdit


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