up against

(redirected from be up against)

up against (something)

Having or being likely to face serious problems, stresses, or difficulties. Each year, more and more families are up against debt going into the holiday season. Sorry I haven't been in touch recently, I've just really been up against it in work the last few weeks. This team is undefeated, so we're up against our biggest challenge this season.
See also: up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*up against someone or something

in opposition to someone or something, as in a contest. (*Typically: be ~; come ~; go ~; run ~; team ~.) Let's team up against Paul and Tony in the footrace. We came up against a very strong team.
See also: up

*up against something

1. Fig. resting firmly against something. (*Typically: be ~; place something ~.) The car is up against the back of the garage! Back out a little!
2. Fig. in conflict with something; facing something as a barrier. (Fig. on {2}. *Typically: be ~; go ~.) l am up against some serious problems.
See also: up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

up against

Contending or confronted with, as in I'm up against a strong opponent in this election. This idiom is also put as up against it, which means "in serious difficulty, especially in desperate financial straits." For example, When the collection agency called again, we knew we were up against it. [Late 1800s]
See also: up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

up against

Confronted with; facing: up against a strong opponent.
See also: up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Berdych, making his first-ever Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last year, will be up against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the lower half, while fourth seed Mikhail Youzhny -- who climbed to a career-high world No.10 at the end of last season -- will be up against tricky Frenchman Gilles Simon in his first round match.
Federer can be up against eighth seed Ernests Gulbis, Youzhny against Ljubicic, Berdych versus Troicki and Djokovic against seventh seed Marcos Baghdatis.
But Paddy will be up against strongmen from more than 40 countries at the Guinness Book of Records Festival in Flensburgh, Germany, on July 8.