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at the last gasp

At the last possible moment or opportunity. I know they've been squabbling for weeks, but I think they'll reach an agreement at the last gasp. We all thought that Molly wouldn't make it to the meeting, but she arrived at the last gasp.
See also: gasp, last

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.
See also: gasp, last

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.
See also: air, gasp

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.
See also: breath, gasp

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.
See also: gasp, out

the last gasp of something

the end of a particular period or process This period witnessed the decline and last gasp of the British Empire.
See also: gasp, last, of


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.

last gasp

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]
See also: gasp, last
References in periodicals archive ?
Wood's case highlighted scrutiny surrounding lethal injections after two controversial executions, including that of an Ohio inmate in January who snorted and gasped during the 26 minutes it took him to die.
FRIGHT Gaybo gasped for breath as his wife waited for ambulance
They gasped for breath with tears streaming down their faces and one woman spent 48 hours in hospital at Fuengirola on Spain's Costa del Sol.
When that famous Simi Valley jury refused to convict Rodney King's attackers, the Whole country gasped and South-Central Los Angeles and Koreatown burned.
Kelly Fitzgerald, 18, said William Pettener gasped for breath and turned blue as Avola Humphreys began cramming food into him as he lay asleep after he had refused breakfast or lunch.
Len just gasped and said, 'Who's bitten your breasts?
A DYING mother gasped in horror yesterday as her convicted killer son lost his bid for freedom.
Frequently, the crowd gasped at the force of her backhands and forehands.