dire straits, in

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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 ?
During their career Dire Straits sold over 120 million albums and spent over a thousand weeks on the UK charts.
Dire Straits are one of the most successful bands to ever come out of the UK, they have sold in excess of 120 million albums worldwide and were the UK's first stadium rock band.
The high quality show pays meticulous attention to every detail, to faithfully recreate the distinct sound of Dire Straits in an unforgettable sonic spectacular.
Members of iconic rock band Dire Straits are back and vowing to take their music to new heights in this new incarnation.
Number 1 album DIRE Straits with Money For Nothing was at the top 25 years ago.
The last time Mr Corr was questioned he admitted he was in "dire straits" and had tried to protect his finances, on his seven-year-old son's behalf, following the judgment.
THE former Dire Straits front man has grouped together an amazing line-up of musicians for his current tour, which is in support of his latest album, Privateering.
The Arab Spring Stages -- By Dire Straits' Hits In addition to their glorious music, Dire Straits proved to be prescient in their choice of song titles.
Sales figures from the Official Charts Company show it is also just 12,000 copies away from the sixth best-selling album, Dire Straits' long player 'Brothers In Arms', and is likely to move further up the chart soon.
WHAT a sad desperate lot the Tories appeared in their conference, out of touch and exhibiting their inability to handle - or even come to close to handling - the dire straits the country was left in by Labour.
Following THE STRAITS' recent debut show at the Royal Albert Hall in May, Alan Clark, Phil Palmer and Chris White (from Dire Straits) are off on an 11-date UK tour in October.
The country is in dire straits and the dinosaurs at the unions want to make things worse.