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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 ?
The logic of Schmittian sovereignty is that the direr the threat, the greater the exception to routine law that is justified.
1998; Manila clams, Rditapes philippinarum, Direr & Dufy 1990; Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, Guo 1991, cited by Guo & Allen 1994, Guo et al.
But the former Killie ace has a big am direr in Stillie who firmly believes the 30-goal hitman deserves to be in the running for the top prize.
An array of social challenges emerges from early parenthood, but the conditions are direr, for young women than for young men.
If the direr predictions are correct, you can't help wondering too how long it will be before the Nad Al Sheba dirt surface, designed to attract the Americans, is replaced by Polytrack, acclaimed in the US, or perhaps even by the similar and supposedly superior Tapeta.
Critics say the government's own data presents a direr picture.
Thank goodness for Dot, because without her this soap would be in even direr straits.
Tampering can lead to even direr consequences when composite material shelters are involved.
Derby are in even direr straits after their 2-0 defeat at Southampton.
The Refrigerator Shuffle" (From the Editor, February, page 8) we experienced when replacing kitchen linoleum with tile was even direr than the laundry room joys you encountered.
Of course there is always the danger of a policy miscalculation or bad luck causing a direr outcome.
Put in perspective, there could not be a direr situation than the one we are facing collectively in Burnt Church -- Canada's denial of the existence of treaties and of Indigenous nations, and its attempted rationalization of genocide against Indigenous peoples.
Attend us to the close, working direr magic than any Circe worked: than any of Medea, or blond-haired Perimede.
Henan Wuyang Jiahu Xinshiqi Shidai Yizhi Direr zi Diliu ci Fajue Baogao (The preliminary report of the 2nd to 6th excavations at Jiahu, Wuyang county, Henan province), Wenwu.