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at the last gasp
Fig. at the very last; at the last chance; at the last minute. (Refers to someone's last breath before death.) She finally showed up at the last gasp, bringing the papers that were needed. We got there at the last gasp, just before our names were called.
gasp at someone or something
to inhale sharply in surprise or shock at someone or something. I gasped at the sight that lay before me. I saw how weary Denise looked and I gasped at her.
See also: gasp
gasp for air
to fight for a breath of air. (After one has been deprived of air.) Walter popped to the surface of the water and gasped for air. The injured dog appeared to be gasping for air.
gasp for breath
to labor for one's breath. (Usually because of physical exertion.) She ran and ran until she was gasping for breath. The diver finally came to the surface, gasping for breath.
gasp something out
to utter something, gasping. She gasped the words out haltingly. Dan was just able to gasp out the instructions before he passed out.
the last gasp of something(literary)
the end of a particular period or process This period witnessed the decline and last gasp of the British Empire.
achieved at the last possible moment (always before noun) And with only a minute left, Brinkworth scored a last-gasp equaliser bringing the score to 2-2.
The moment before death; also, the end. For example, "Fight till the last gasp" (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, 1:2), or He was determined to stay at the party until the last gasp. This idiom alludes to taking one's last breath, literally (first example) or figuratively (second example). [Late 1500s]