in the throes

in the throes

In the midst of, especially of a difficult struggle. For example, The country was in the throes of economic collapse, or We were in the throes of giving a formal dinner when my in-laws arrived. The noun throe, meaning "a severe pang or spasm of pain," was at first used mainly for such physical events as childbirth or dying. Today it is used both seriously (first example) and more lightly (second example). [Mid-1800s]
See also: throe
References in classic literature ?
So I was up and out of the town while as yet most of the inhabitants were in the throes of getting up.
Powerful by nature and rendered still more so in the throes of one of his maniacal fits of fury he was no mean antagonist, even for the mighty ape-man, and to this a distinct advantage for him was added by the fact that almost at the outset of their battle Tarzan, in stepping backward, struck his heel against the corpse of the man whom Smith-Oldwick had killed, and fell heavily backward to the floor with Metak upon his breast.
Gasping as though in the throes of strangulation the fellow pitched forward at Tarzan's feet.
He would cry for nothing; he would burst into storms of devilish temper without notice, and let go scream after scream and squall after squall, then climax the thing with "holding his breath"-- that frightful specialty of the teething nursling, in the throes of which the creature exhausts its lungs, then is convulsed with noiseless squirmings and twistings and kickings in the effort to get its breath, while the lips turn blue and the mouth stands wide and rigid, offering for inspection one wee tooth set in the lower rim of a hoop of red gums; and when the appalling stillness has endured until one is sure the lost breath will never return, a nurse comes flying, and dashes water in the child's face, and--presto
From a tongue-in-cheek allegory of China and Tibet to the playful account of a young Tibetan in the throes of love, Ma Yuan breaks with tradition and helps move Chinese literature into the twenty-first century.
A Moscow man in the throes of a nervous breakdown decided the auto dealership which sent him over the edge was going down with him.
It seems like just yesterday that the General Assembly finished the 2009-2010 session and here we are in the throes of the next election campaign season.
Meanwhile, Mr Greenspan said: "Consumers are beginning to shrink, the automobile markets are beginning to contract, production is beginning to ease and we are in the throes of recession .
The boy sits beside his self-absorbed mother, a woman who is in the throes of making a life decision which will have extreme--and negative--consequences for the rest of the boy's life.
That Dench's character is a lesbian in the throes of a powerful crush is something that is slowly revealed over the course of the film--and is, indeed, left out of the press materials altogether.
That's why the department is consistently in the throes of fiscal disaster,'' he said.
The Satellite Airline Terminal, in the throes of seeking a new location, is also being represented by Studley, namely William Montana, managing director.
In the early 1930s, when America was deep in the throes of one of the worst economic depressions in this country's history, some American leaders seemed willing to put the idea of representative democracy on hold until the economic disaster had been overcome.
People brought to a hospital in the throes of a heart attack are more likely to survive if they receive a statin drug, a new study finds.
Her eight-year-old son picked the lock on the bathroom door and witnessed his mother in the throes of death while his stepfather sat on the toilet watching.
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