be backed into a corner

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be backed into a corner

To be forced into a difficult or unpleasant situation that one cannot easily resolve or escape. Scott has been backed into a corner with this mortgage payment that he cannot afford.
See also: backed, corner
References in classic literature ?
He tried to drink, and revel, and swear away the memory; but often, in the deep night, whose solemn stillness arraigns the bad soul in forced communion with herself, he had seen that pale mother rising by his bedside, and felt the soft twining of that hair around his fingers, till the cold sweat would roll down his face, and he would spring from his bed in horror.
On the great day of retribution, what thousands, what millions of the American race will appear at the bar of judgment to arraign their European invading conquerors
As the spirit of party, in different degrees, must be expected to infect all political bodies, there will be, no doubt, persons in the national legislature willing enough to arraign the measures and criminate the views of the majority.
We arraign society if it do not give us, besides earth and fire and water, opportunity, love, reverence, and objects of veneration.