Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knock-down-(and)-drag-out adj.

also knock-down-and-drag-off, knock-down-and-pull-out, stomp-down and drag-out
[knock-down (and) drag-out n.]

lit. or fig., intense, violent.

[US]Morning Courier and N.-Y. Enquirer 17 June 1/7: A real knock-down and drag-off battle.
[US]Amer. Railroad Journal III 304/1: He was one of our careless unconcerned knock down and drag out looking sort of fellows .
Eve. Star (NY) 10 Jan. 2/3: A regular knock down and pull out affair occurred at Sudbury, Mass, on new year’s night.
[US]D. Corcoran Picking from N.O. Picayune 87: The battle was to be fought on the knock-down and drag-out principle.
[US] ‘How Mike Hooter Came Very Near “Wolloping” Arch Coony’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 146: Mike [...] in a regular knock-down-and-drag-out row, was hard to beat.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 313: When it came to combats on the brick-bat, slung-shot, ‘knock-down and dragout’ principle, her champions could ‘whale blazes’ out of the ‘Micks,’ but in a forty foot ring they found themselves nowhere.
Orangeburg Democrat (SC) 10 Dec. 5/4: Hogwallow had a feminine fur-pulling, knock-down, drag-out row on Tuesday.
[US]Paducah Sun (KY) 29 Sept. 8/2: Their dialogue was bright and humorous [...] and without any knock down, drag out stunts.
[UK]Coshocton Daily Times (OH) 26 Aug. 3/3: Are you going to have a regular knock-down-and-drag-out smash at St. George’s?
[UK]A.N. Depew Gunner Depew 144: These knock-down-drag-out artists follow the riflemen closely.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 4: One of the best rough-and-tumble, knock-’em-down-and-drag-’em-out bullies that ever rambled.
[US]I. Einstein Prohibition Agent No. 1 159: That job, with no orchestra or floor show to help me in my knock-down-and-drag-out battle with sleep, was some assignment for a ‘gay sport’ in a dress suit to hand himself.
[US](con. 1820s) W.E. Wilson Wabash 225: I ain’t heared a real, honest-to-God, knock-down-an’-drag-out, repytation-blastin’ jaw-fest among good friends in a coon’s age.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘This Murder’s On Me’ in Thrilling Detective June [Internet] Lib had done a knock-down-drag-out job. For three weeks she had sprayed the metropolitan dailies with copy.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 243: The knock-down-and-drag-out battles he fought from month to month.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 52: He hadn’t been in one of these knockdown, dragout hick joints in a long time and they were known to be rowdy.
[US]H. Selby Jr Demon (1979) 71: One [bout] was really good, a knock-down, drag-out kind of fight.
[US]K. Scott Monster (1994) 154: This would be a stomp-down, drag-out brawl.
[UK]Guardian Online 26 July n.p.: It will be a battle of ideas, a knock-down, drag-out declaration not just of European solidarity, but of European ideals.
[US]E. Beetner ‘One-Armed Bandit’ in C. Rhatigan and N. Bird (eds) Pulp Ink 2 [ebook] He’seen Carlo and Liza fight before. Real knock-down, drag-out affairs.