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Noun1.cut-and-thrust - fighting with knivescut-and-thrust - fighting with knives      
fighting, combat, fight, scrap - the act of fighting; any contest or struggle; "a fight broke out at the hockey game"; "there was fighting in the streets"; "the unhappy couple got into a terrible scrap"
References in classic literature ?
I felt in some sort like a 'prentice boy who, going to the play in the expectation of being delighted with a cut-and-thrust tragedy, is almost moved to tears of disappointment at the exhibition of a genteel comedy.
Also notable is the Dialogue with Heracleides, unusual ancient stenographic minutes of a cut-and-thrust debate on the Father-Son relationship.