in a bind

*in a bind

 and *in a jam
Fig. in a tight or difficult situation; stuck on a problem. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; find oneself ~.) I'm in a bind. I owe a lot of money. Whenever I get into a jam, I ask my supervisor for help. When things get busy around here, we get in a bind. We could use another helper.
See also: bind

in a bind

forced to deal with a difficult situation Ashworth felt he was in a bind, with two completely different sets of directions he was supposed to follow.
Related vocabulary: in a tight spot
See also: bind

in a bind

Also, in a box or hole or jam or tight corner or tight spot . In a difficult, threatening, or embarrassing position; also, unable to solve a dilemma. For example, He's put us in a bind: we can't refuse, but at the same time we can't fill the order, or Jim's in a box; he can't afford to pay what he owes us, or He quit without giving notice and now we're really in a hole, or We always end up in a jam during the holiday season, or He's in a tight corner with those new customers, or We'll be in a tight spot unless we can find another thousand dollars. All these colloquial terms allude to places from which one can't easily extricate oneself. The phrase using bind was first recorded in 1851; box, 1865; jam, 1914; tight spot, 1852. Also see in a fix.
See also: bind
References in periodicals archive ?
Raytheon was in a bind and needed machined aluminum-bronze components for these two systems on a tight schedule.