at (one's) wits' end

(redirected from at his wits' end)

at (one's) wits' end

In a state of distress because one has no more patience or mental stamina, often after having dealt with some kind of problem or difficult situation. The baby's been crying for hours, and I'm at my wits' end! I'm already at my wits' end, so if this train gets delayed too, I'm going to scream.
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at one's wit's end

Fig. at the limits of one's mental resources. I'm at my wit's end with this problem. I cannot figure it out. Tom could do no more. He was at his wit's end.
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at one's wit's end

Also, at wits' end. Completely puzzled and perplexed, not knowing what to do. For example, I've tried every possible source without success, and now I'm at my wit's end. This idiom, which uses wit in the sense of "mental faculties," appeared in Piers Ploughman (c. 1377).
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at your wits' end

COMMON If you are at your wits' end, you are extremely worried about a serious problem that you have tried hard to solve but cannot. Josh became very difficult after his father's death: he was rebellious and rude, and refused to go to school. I was at my wits' end. We row all the time and I'm at my wit's end.
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at (one's) wits' end

At the limit of one's mental resources; utterly at a loss.
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References in classic literature ?
On the whole he could perceive that all who were there were people of quality; but with the figure, countenance, and bearing of Don Quixote he was at his wits' end; and all civilities having been exchanged, and the accommodation of the inn inquired into, it was settled, as it had been before settled, that all the women should retire to the garret that has been already mentioned, and that the men should remain outside as if to guard them; the Judge, therefore, was very well pleased to allow his daughter, for such the damsel was, to go with the ladies, which she did very willingly; and with part of the host's narrow bed and half of what the Judge had brought with him, they made a more comfortable arrangement for the night than they had expected.
And this not so much for the sake of his reputations--for, indeed, it was when he was at his wits' end that his energy and his versatility were most admirable--but because where he failed it happened too often that no one else succeeded, and that the tale was left forever without a conclusion.
When entering the house of one of my regulars, an elderly gentleman, he confided in me he was at his wits' end with all the demand on his meagre finances.
When entering the house of one elderly gentleman, whom I regularly visit, he confided he was at his wits' end with all the demands on his meagre finances.
The kind-hearted surgeon is at his wits' end when Mr Kerrigan turns up on the wards.
AT HIS WITS' END Simon Lind was shown leniency after taking a firearm
A SCRAP dealer who was allegedly at his wits' end over his wife's taunts and quarrels killed her at Janakpuri in west Delhi on Friday night.
Coronation Street (8.30pm) At his wits' end and convinced it is the only way to get more pills, Joe begs Tina to give David another chance.
After losing 5-1 to Dominic Dale in the first round in 2004, Dott was at his wits' end and snapped at an M6 service station.
Describing the show, organisers said Princess Gimmee wanted everything and the King was at his wits' end. He did not know what to do with her until he realised that there was something the princess did not have.
A pal says, `He's at his wits' end, trying weird potions and shelling out for scalp rubs at $70 (pounds 45) a pop.'
Pensioner Tommy Gardner was at his wits' end when no one could fix the banging noise coming from his central heating pipes.
emmerdale itV1 7pm Simple Sam Dingle's at his wits' end - a short trip at the best of times - when he has to face son Samson's teacher with stroppy newcomer Rachel (above) about the lad's alleged bullying of her niece Amelia.
Celeb chef Jamie Oliver is at his wits' end after losing the equivalent of pounds 350,000 a year through diners stealing his signature napkins.