back into a corner

back into a corner

1. To force or be forced into a difficult or unpleasant situation that one cannot easily resolve or escape. A noun can be used between "back" and "into." My boss really backed me into a corner when he asked me to fire the CEO's daughter. Scott has been backed into a corner with this mortgage payment that he cannot afford.
2. To put oneself into a difficult or unpleasant situation that one cannot easily resolve or escape. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "back" and "into." I really backed myself into a corner when I agreed to go to two events on the same night.
See also: back, corner

back oneself into a corner

Fig. to manage to get oneself into a position where there is limited escape. (Ranging from literal to figurative.) He tells different stories to different people. Finally he backed himself into a corner and had to admit his lies.
See also: back, corner
References in classic literature ?
I drew back into a corner behind the door, facing the gallery stairs, and watched for her.
Gertrude shrank back into a corner of the vehicle as it departed.
These all bit the dust, and as the others drew back into a corner Ulysses and his men rushed forward and regained their spears by drawing them from the bodies of the dead.
while Traddles and I pushed him back into a corner, from which, as often as we got him into it, he persisted in emerging again.