desperate straits

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Related to desperate straits: straiten
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Noun1.desperate straits - a state of extreme distress
straits, strait, pass - a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
References in classic literature ?
Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear.
Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it into desperate straits, and it will come off in safety.
Panic seized him and, putting aside his pride, he wrote again to the Vicar of Blackstable, placing the case before him more urgently; but perhaps he did not explain himself properly and his uncle did not realise in what desperate straits he was, for he answered that he could not change his mind; Philip was twenty-five and really ought to be earning his living.
All public utterances were cheery and optimistic, but privately many of the utters were in desperate straits.
Finishing my man with almost no effort, as had now from much practice become habitual with me, I hastened to return to my new acquaintance whom I found indeed in desperate straits.
I am, I know, either being deceived, like a baby, by my own fears, or else I am in desperate straits, and if the latter be so, I need, and shall need, all my brains to get through.
The comic that gave us Desperate Dan was in desperate straits.
Indeed, Mr Zardari has publicly spurned the olive branch proffered by Nawaz Sharif -- who is in rather desperate straits and flapping about for some such agreement -- and seems sadistically pleased at his overt distress.
Sisa is both exceptional and common, her story and her behavior typical of many Filipinos driven to desperate straits by both poverty and deprivation and deep loss; but whose inner turmoil and outward appearance do not always conform to Sisa's example.
There are close to 20 million Yemenis in desperate straits and in immediate need of humanitarian relief.