last gasp

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(one's) last gasp

The final moment or action before one can no longer continue to live, function, compete, fight, etc. Many believe the company's latest product could be their last gasp—if it flops, many predict they'll go under. This debate is likely his last gasp to keep his election hopes alive.
See also: gasp, last


Final, usually drastic or risky, with failure as the only alternative. The home team is mounting one last-gasp attempt in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-gasp effort to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.

the/(one's) last gasp

1. The final moment before one dies; the last period of one's life. Even though my grandfather's lungs were riddled with cancer and emphysema, he remained a smoker until his very last gasp.
2. The last moment before a person or group ultimately fails or must give up. We might be down by 10 points, but we have to keep on fighting to the last gasp! Even as their stocks plummeted, the company maintained a public image of success right to their last gasp. Some say we're seeing capitalism's last gasp, but I think that view ignores a lot of factors.
3. One's or something's final attempt to succeed or else face failure, death, destruction, etc. The play was their last gasp to tie the game, but the quarterback fumbled the snap. Many see this latest video game console as the company's last gasp, especially following the disastrous flop of their last one.
See also: gasp, last

last gasp

The moment before death; also, the end. For example, "Fight till the last gasp" (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, 1:2), or He was determined to stay at the party until the last gasp. This idiom alludes to taking one's last breath, literally (first example) or figuratively (second example). [Late 1500s]
See also: gasp, last

your/the last ˈgasp

the point at which you/something can no longer continue living, fighting, existing, etc: People are saying that the group’s latest actions are simply the last gasp of a dying campaign.
A gasp is a quick deep breath.
See also: gasp, last
References in periodicals archive ?
In a nutshell: Painstaking, provocative look at the last gasp of Hitler's Third Reich.
The Ports slipped SEVEN points behind the champions on Saturday after Darren Boyce's last gasp volley gave Glentoran a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the Oval.
The Bulls missed their absolute last gasp when Rose had a shot blocked by Sean Rooks, and then the Bulls had a turnover inbounding the ball with 3.
And TV bosses must be careful to avoid turning the last gasp of a human into a peep show.
After Maggette made 1 of 2 free throws, the Bulls missed their absolute last gasp when Rose had a shot blocked by Sean Rooks.
The Lib Dems chief blasted: "Cameron's a last gasp leader of a last-gasp party.
The Clippers' last gasp of hope fell short when Sean Rooks had a rebound off a free-throw miss by Harpring go out of bounds.
With one last gasp effort Ballyboden broke upfield and, calm as you like, NI Chorcorain sent over the winner.
9 seconds to play, which proved to be the visitors' last gasp.
Beckham's last appearance at Old Trafford in an England shirt saw him curl a dramatic last gasp free-kick in the 2-2 draw with Greece to clinch qualification for last year's World Cup finals.
Failing against Arcadia figured to be their last gasp at any championship patch.
They went right back to stuffing the Dons and forced the missed field goal, which appeared to be Dorsey's last gasp.
But Meath are defending champions - having stunned Westmeath with a last gasp goal on April Fools Day - and should prove too strong on the day.
BROXBURN'S George Sneddon helped himself to a Chinese take-away in Kowloon yesterday as he battled to a last gasp win in the Hong Kong classic singles.