dire

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in dire straits

Fig. in a very serious, bad circumstance. We are nearly broke and need money for medicine. We are in dire straits.
See also: dire, strait

in dire straits

in extreme danger or difficulty Officials in Washington say the peace process is in dire straits.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the forms dire economic straits or dire financial straits: He's been out of work for eight months, and his family is in dire financial straits.
See also: dire, strait

be in dire straits

to be in a very difficult or dangerous situation The earthquake and the war will leave the country in dire straits for a long time. They are in dire financial straits.
See also: dire, strait
References in periodicals archive ?
There can't bemany dates in the history of Scottish football when Cowdenbeathwere in the top league and Rangers Despair If the award goes to the Old Firm club which has made the most consistent contribution to direness there can beno doubt it's Celtic.
Readers of this column will remember my weakness for reality TV of all levels of direness.
The mawkish tale of young footballers caught in the sectarian divide of the Irish troubles, it's a piece of work possessing a value only eclipsed by the direness of its songs.
Oh, yes, the farting: so it's Rabelaisian farce in which the direness of dire straights trembles on the border that separates hilarity from pathos.
It needs to be remembered that rules are approximate; violations which are equal formally are often unequal in their direness.
The direness of the mistake lies not so much in the trodden rights of non-Orthodox religious Jews in Israel-a serious matter in its own right-as in the price paid by the secular culture.
But if analysts--or Oxford's customers--had asked more specific questions about the company's then-new IT capabilities, they might have grasped the direness of the situation sooner.
Waag notes that a positive outcome of ATDO's troubles has been the response of the dance community as the direness of the situation became apparent.
show the person that the fears of direness are not self-evident.