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be in the throes of something/doing something

to be experiencing a very difficult or unpleasant period The country is presently in the throes of the worst recession since the second world war. We're in the throes of moving house at the moment.
See also: of, throe

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 ?
Should the throes of change take me in the act of writing it, Hyde will tear it in pieces; but if some time shall have elapsed after I have laid it by, his wonderful selfishness and circumscription to the moment will probably save it once again from the action of his ape-like spite.
The man you drove from Eden's grove Was I, my Lord, was I, And I shall be there when the earth and the air Are rent from sea to sky; For it is my world, my gorgeous world, The world of my dearest woes, From the first faint cry of the newborn To the rack of the woman's throes.
Still clinging to my rifle, I rose again, to see the lioness struggling in her death throes but an arm's length from me.
When anne came downstairs again, the Island, as well as all Canada, was in the throes of a campaign preceding a general election.
Were you an ape, you would know that only a bull in the throes of madness will turn upon a female other than to gently chastise her, with the occasional exception of the individual whom we find exemplified among our own kind, and who delights in beating up his better half because she happens to be smaller and weaker than he.
Immediately thereafter she raised her voice in the shrill, hoarse, monotonous madness of hysteria, sat down on the floor, and rocked back and forth in the throes of an abysmal grief.
But even in its utmost agony--even in those terrible throes that love must suffer before it can be disembodied of selfish desire--my love for you sufficed to withhold me from suicide, without the aid of any other motive.
Websites vary in setup, but on eBay, for example, there are throe quick and easy steps: (1) Search for an item by inserting the item's name or by selecting a category; (2) Buy the item if the price is right.
In 1973, when Gross and Wilczek were at Princeton University and Politzer was at Harvard University, the throe researchers independently discovered a property of the strong interaction that they called "asymptotic freedom.
NEW YORK, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexandra Doring-Zelman, founder of Throes Theater, was recently awarded the runner-up prize in the Bodley Head/Financial Times competition for her non-fiction essay 'A Community of Mortals.
The EP includes wistful acoustic tracK All The Little Things by up and coming local singer songwriter Tara Wolfe; Hurricanes by The Final Throes - a five piece slinKy FUNK band with a rocK vibe; and short and sweet nostalgic pop Girl It's You by three piece group The Shade.
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 source said: "Ronan and Storm could not keep their hands off one another - they're clearly in the first throes of love.
Mr Hague said the fall of the compound was an "important" moment, adding: "We're in the death throes of this regime, it's a good thing we've reached that point.
It's not over yet but we are in the death throes here of a despicable regime," Mr Hague said.