Come Hell or High Water

Also: In spite of hell or high water.

Used as an idiom since at least 1915.

Meaning of ‘Come Hell or High Water’ Idiom

Come hell or high water is an alliterative dyad which means “no matter what happens or how difficult it is.” This idiom is used to refer to a goal or intention that will be achieved at whatever cost.

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Examples Of Use

“I’m going to pass this exam come hell or high water.”

“Come hell or high water, I’ll own my own home by the time I’m thirty.”

Come hell or high water, I will get to work!


This idiom alludes to destructive forces, hellfire or flood. It is used to emphasize your commitment to a goal by saying that even if a disaster occurs, you will not waver in your goal. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, this expression was first recorded in print in 1915, which means it is probably older, occurring at least since the early 1900’s.

More Idioms Starting with C

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