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Related to dire: dire wolf, dire straits, voir dire

be in dire straits

To be in a very bleak or grim situation. All of those recent layoffs indicate that the company is in dire straits. I was in dire straits there for a while, but I'm feeling much better after my hospital stay.
See also: dire, strait

dire straits

An especially bleak, grim, or difficult situation. The recent nosedive in the stock market has left many companies in dire straits in recent years. Long-term unemployment and health issues drive many people to dire straits in this part of the country.
See also: dire, strait

in dire straits

In a very bleak or grim situation. The recent nosedive in the stock market has left many companies in dire straits. I was in dire straits there for a while, but I'm feeling much better after my hospital stay.
See also: dire, strait
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in dire straits

Fig. in a very serious, bad circumstance. We are nearly broke and need money for medicine. We are in dire straits.
See also: dire, strait
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dire straits, in

In an awful situation, terrible circumstances. The adjective “dire,” which dates from the mid-1500s, is rarely heard today except in this cliché and one other phrase, dire necessity, which uses it more or less hyperbolically (as, for example, in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 1836 letter, “The dire necessity of having every window in the house open . . .”). In contrast, the cliché describes a genuine difficulty or danger, as in “The stock-market crash left him in dire straits financially.” Also the name of a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995.
See also: dire
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Joye said judges he's spoken with in South Carolina are willing to consider trying a form of voir dire in their courtrooms if attorneys agree to it, and the decision is ultimately at the discretion of each judge.
A real professional, his track record is highly impressive and lengthy and with such a dedicated and accomplished musician in charge, the inevitable result is a premier Dire Straits tribute band.
The breeds Schwartz has so far combined in creating her "dire wolves" are German Shepherds, Malamutes, English Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, Anatolians and Irish Wolfhounds.
Dire car chases, dire fights, dire villains (robber holds knife's blunt side to hostage's throat), dire plots (building society manager applies online for a loan to pay a drug debt, only to discover it takes three working days).
Picking a jury from a panel of 36 people is challenging enough, but how does this process change when the voir dire panel is increased three or four times in number?
Dire lies southwest of the ancient desert trading outpost of Timbuktu and close to the town of Lere were nine soldiers were killed in an attack on Thursday claimed by the separatist rebel Coordination of Movements for Azawad (CMA).
As one of the founding band members with Mark Knopfler, his brother David and drummer Pick Withers, Illsley played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits' sound.
The first wave of the Dire States tour featured author and infrastructure expert Dan McNichol traveling the country in a '49 Hudson that is as "old, rusty and energy defunct" as America's infrastructure to raise awareness to the issue.
HLG CEO and managing director, Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis, said the contract with DIRE is of great significance to HLG.
Il a affirme que la conjoncture est difficile et qu'elle ne permet ni surencheres ni complaisance , et appele a opter pour la transparence et l'esprit de responsabilite et a dire toute la verite au peuple, en toute objectivite et franchise .
Dire Straits tribute Money for Nothing is a must see for any Dire Straits fan.
Another mesmerising show of indifference that demonstrates what dire straits the music industry is in.
Members of iconic rock band Dire Straits are back and vowing to take their music to new heights in this new incarnation.
THE financial outlook of the National Health Service is "dire", a leading doctor has warned.