clutch at straws

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clutch at straws

1. To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop clutching at straws."
2. To consider positive suggestions or thoughts in a bad situation. OK, you're just clutching at straws now, fantasizing about a potential buyer when your house has been on the market for months.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch at straws

Fig. to continue to seek solutions, ideas, or hopes that are insubstantial. When you talk of cashing in quick on your inventions, you are just clutching at straws. That is not a real solution to the problem. You are just clutching at straws.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch at straws

mainly BRITISH or

grasp at straws

1. If you clutch at straws or grasp at straws, you try to do something that is very unlikely to succeed because you are desperate or have tried everything else. This was a desperate speech, made by a man clutching at straws to retain his career. I was probably grasping at straws in a search for a cure, but I thought I would give the therapy a go.
2. If you clutch at straws or grasp at straws, you try to find hope in a situation where there is no reason to feel hope. By this time, Rosa's behaviour was extremely strange and we were all very concerned. I told myself that at least she still had a job, but I was clutching at straws. Note: This expression comes from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw. People are still clinging to the hope that something will happen — but I think it's like a drowning man trying to clutch at a straw. Note: The image here is of a drowning person who is desperately trying to take hold of anything to save himself or herself, even a straw.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch (or grasp or catch) at straws

do, say, or believe anything, however unlikely or inadequate, which seems to offer hope in a desperate situation.
This expression comes from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw , which is recorded in various forms since the mid 16th century.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch/grasp at ˈstraws

try all possible means to find a solution or some hope in a difficult or unpleasant situation, even though this seems very unlikely: The doctors have told him that he has only 6 months to live, but he won’t accept it. He’s going to a new clinic in Switzerland next week, but he’s just clutching at straws.
See also: clutch, grasp, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
Are you and others whinging, clutching at straws, showing yourselves up for voicing your opinions, no, neither is AW of Gosforth.
Many may feel the Everton boss is clutching at straws against a side who are seemingly moving relentlessly towards a quintuple, despite a recent dip in performance levels in the Premier League.
Dr Chris Upton is clutching at straws at Newman University College in Birmingham.
He should know that the only time I get an overwhelming stench of sleaze in my nostrils is when I read the wildly hypocritical bleating of Tories clutching at straws.
Last night James Mercer's step-daughter Amy said: 'We may be clutching at straws but he may have suffered a bump on the head, causing him to lose his memory.
United boss Bruce admitted he was clutching at straws when he sent on Dellas.
And that, my friends, is called clutching at straws.
Written by Red Dwarf scribe Doug Naylor, there's an air of clutching at straws about Over To Bill as though it can't quite make up its mind what it's about.
IT appears that Kelly Brook may be clutching at straws if she thinks she can get back with boyfriend Thom Evans.
I showed some of their players the baw mark and told them they were clutching at straws.
But then the Chancellor would be clutching at straws for, above all, this was a grim forecast for the next couple of years and it underlined the fact that the Government's efforts to stimulate growth aren't going far enough.
We're clutching at straws and the next few days are going to be critical.
The Giants, beaten finalists in 2009, raced into a 22-0 interval lead to leave their visitors clutching at straws and also produced a strong finish with two converted tries in the last seven minutes to cruise into the last 16.
If this is the best they can come up with they must be really clutching at straws and think the electorate is daft by providing such dated and irrelevant information based solely on local election results.
He is still alive,' say the multitudes of idealists and the faithful, all clutching at straws in their refusal to believe the inevitable.