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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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
There is a kind of direness in sexual conjunction: desire, desperation, gratitude, self-transcendence or self-disgust, yearning for pregnancy or grim determination to avoid it, the incandescence and the temporality of joy.
Nancy Reagan, inspired by the direness of Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's, has been reported using her political influence to convince the current president to reverse himself.
There can't bemany dates in the history of Scottish football when Cowdenbeathwere in the top league and Rangers Despair If the award goes to the Old Firm club which has made the most consistent contribution to direness there can beno doubt it's Celtic.
Readers of this column will remember my weakness for reality TV of all levels of direness.
Although the direness of the situation was likely overstated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Harold Macmillan (and possibly to personal ends), (88) the weight of world and party opinion, and the bizarre spectacle of the United States and the Soviet Union both arrayed against him, was eventually too much to bear.
The mawkish tale of young footballers caught in the sectarian divide of the Irish troubles, it's a piece of work possessing a value only eclipsed by the direness of its songs.
Oh, yes, the farting: so it's Rabelaisian farce in which the direness of dire straights trembles on the border that separates hilarity from pathos.
It needs to be remembered that rules are approximate; violations which are equal formally are often unequal in their direness.
The direness of the mistake lies not so much in the trodden rights of non-Orthodox religious Jews in Israel-a serious matter in its own right-as in the price paid by the secular culture.
But if analysts--or Oxford's customers--had asked more specific questions about the company's then-new IT capabilities, they might have grasped the direness of the situation sooner.
Waag notes that a positive outcome of ATDO's troubles has been the response of the dance community as the direness of the situation became apparent.
show the person that the fears of direness are not self-evident.
Although I think Mercian Hymns is Hill's best work, The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Peguy shows him stretching in new directions, rescuing himself from direness, becoming more attuned to dramatic possibilities and enlarging his range.
Terry Connor's first match in charge of the Old Gold was laced with the usual long periods of direness, short bursts of excellence and, as a pointer to punters, goals at both ends.
A clap of thunder and flash of lightning accentuated the direness.