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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

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 ?
KATOWICE, Poland: With the direst environmental warnings yet still ringing in their ears, nations gathered in Poland Sunday for a U.N.
This downturn has persuaded some in the direst of straits to lie to keep their benefits when their circumstances change.
Pacific atoll nations face the direst consequences of climate change: their complete disappearance.
The level of commitment shown in particular by those in red was greatly appreciated by those of us who have borne witness to some of the direst performances in living memory this season, when at times they've been flattered by the description 'lacklustre'.
Birds shelter in the treetops - they find it difficult to feed They only leave their shelters when driven by direst need.
And, most galling of all, they can also include the cost of mailing those letters in which they plead the direst need for you to send your contribution today.
'Drought': The corn chants/to be buried in early August,//It prays the land lie/fallow under merciful heaven.//Even the direst Love/in the burnt cropheart//and the blood of a boy/farmer could not save it.//There is a farmhouse surrounded/by more hell-colored corn//than one can see beyond./The cows go unfed//on the day of trucks/at the Walltown graveyard.
Mr Birol's comments mark the direst prediction yet about China's contribution to global warming.
Now give me odds that if you take in both you won't be watching the direst few hours of telly since Maggie Thatcher triumphed in the 1979 General Election!
Only those in the direst need will get help with, for instance, care at home.
These growling behemoths are covered with many bolt-on mechanisms designed to promote anal hygiene, which in turn are covered with written instructions and dire warnings in many languages, the direst of which is "Do not splash water or detergent on the product.
* NHS Direst is proposing to cut hundreds of jobs and close 12 call centres, including one in York, to save pounds 15m, it was announced today.
As a way of coming to terms with the inevitable growth of self-consciousness in the deployment of gesture, Caro's diversion into quasi-architectural concerns in the late '80s and early '90s, because of the structural discipline it necessitated, was probably a wise move, sparing him the direst consequences of strained eloquence.
This past week has seen the direst warning to date of the pensions timebomb that is set to rip Britain apart ( a staggering pounds 57 billion shortfall has been identified in the amount people are saving for retirement.
Keep the hard sell in your arsenal, but save it for the direst of occasions.