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Related to direst: elaborated, staunchest, seemliest

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 ?
Q: What market segment is in the direst need of an alternative energy overhaul and why?
This fund is intended to help the poorest and most vulnerable in society when they are at their direst need.
Diane Cosstick, head of supported housing at Endeavour, said: "At a time when budgets for supporting some of the most vulnerable people are being squeezed, we are delighted to be opening up a new facility of this kind which is so vital to give vital hope to women and children in the direst circumstances.
The Qur'an then added, "You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend" (41:34).
The total revenues of the public budget including grants of direst state investments will total 68.
It would be cruel, shameful and morally wrong not to heed that call in their time of direst need.
This downturn has persuaded some in the direst of straits to lie to keep their benefits when their circumstances change.
They should have preserved this man's great national position as he always sought means to safeguard Lebanon at the direst of times," he concluded.
Pacific atoll nations face the direst consequences of climate change: their complete disappearance.
Keelie has a surprising group of allies however who assist her in moments of direst need as well at those times when a little retaliation would just feel good.
Birds shelter in the treetops - they find it difficult to feed They only leave their shelters when driven by direst need.
Call NHS Direst on 0845 4647 or their GP to arrange a home visit.
Opportunity can be found in the direst situations, Lane discovered when she was laid off by an advertising agency months after the terrorist attacks on Sept.
However, HSBC - its pounds 40bn mortgage book means a 3%market share - has set the rules tightly enough to avoid borrowers in direst straits: maximum loan-to-value for a Rate Matcher is 80%.
This year's tour, coming to the NEC on June 17, however, features the direst of line-ups imaginable.