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be in the throes of
To suffer from or struggle with something. I'm sorry I never called you back, I've been in the throes of illness for days. After being in the throes of decline for months, the economy is finally starting to recover.
in the throes of (something)
Suffering from or struggling with something. I'm sorry I never called you back—I've been in the throes of illness for days. They exhibit all the signs of a company in the throes of decline.
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
in the throes of something
COMMON If you are in the throes of doing or experiencing something, especially something difficult, you are busy doing it or are deeply involved in it. The boy's parents are in the throes of moving house and it seems they completely forgot about the arrangement. The stock market is in the throes of its worst ever crisis.