the last straw


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the last straw

or

the final straw

COMMON If you say that something is the last straw or the final straw, you mean it is the latest in a series of bad events, and it makes you unable to deal with a situation any longer. An increase in mortgage rates could be the last straw for thousands of borrowers. The relationship had been in trouble for a while and Jack's behaviour that night was just the final straw. Compare with the straw that breaks the camel's back.
See also: last, straw

the last (or final) straw

a further difficulty or annoyance, typically minor in itself but coming on top of a whole series of difficulties, that makes a situation unbearable.
The full version of this is the proverb the last straw breaks the camel's back . The modern form is traceable to Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son ( 1848 ), but earlier versions are recorded, including a mid 17th-century reference to the last feather breaking a horse's back .
See also: last, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
Flings at office parties, lack of sex, financial worries, and disappointing presents were among the issues deemed the last straw, researchers found.
The Last Straw opens in a university, where a reviled professor has been found with his throat slashed.
The 48-year-old, who quit his role as assistant at Wests Tigers two years ago to join Hull, guided the Airlie Birds to the Challenge Cup final but a 76-18 defeat by Huddersfield in the Super League play-offs proved the last straw for owner Adam Pearson and he was replaced by his assistant Lee Radford.
Launching his book Odd Man Out: The Last Straw, Biggs expressed sorrow over the fate of mail train driver Jack Mills, who died in 1970 having never made a full recovery after being coshed.
THE last straw for Katie Price in her doomed marriage to Alex Reid was the sight of him taking her youngest son to a cagefighting training session.
UAB psychologist Josh Klapow, a professor in the School of Public Health, says it is the last straw for travellers, who are already feeling stressed.
Mr Grindrod, of Jarrow, who was also threatened with a knife nine years ago, said: "The robbery was the last straw.
I think the Kennedy thing was just the last straw," Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, told the Los Angeles Times.
Soon after, Owens demanded a new contract, promised a holdout, reneged on that one and promised only to be a distraction, was sent home from training camp for bad behavior and finally - the last straw, or match - refusing to apologize to quarterback Donovan McNabb for saying the Eagles would have been better off with Brett Favre.
Levine's case was the last straw for many federal watchdogs who have been frustrated and angry with the way the OSC now works under Bloch, the former deputy director and counsel to the Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives at the U.
The last straw was O'Neill's African trip with the singer Bono.
When my house was attacked and broken into last week that was the last straw.
The last straw comes when dad puts the children's beloved and healthy dog to sleep just to get him out of the way.
He and chairman Jeremy Peace had never seen eye to eye, and that looked like the last straw.
For Raspberry, whose father is a homeless junkie and whose mother works hard to keep their apartment, this is the last straw.