push (one) to the wall

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push (one) to the wall

To force one into a desperate position in which one's options are limited and typically require desperate actions. If the government continues pushing its citizens to the wall, it shouldn't be surprised when they rise up to destroy it. Increasing financial pressures are pushing Tom to the wall. I think he needs help.
See also: push, to, wall
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

push someone to the wall

 and press someone to the wall
to force someone into a position where there is only one choice to make; to put someone in a defensive position. There was little else I could do. They pushed me to the wall.
See also: push, to, wall
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Life has pushed us to the wall, yet our families are looking expectantly at us for various provisions," said the father of three.He and his friend at times have to time long distance trucks heading to Industrial Area and clutch on the metal bars at the hind without the knowledge of the drivers.
She said 'the management has pushed us to the wall by introducing a new fee while they asked some returning students to pay the same fee paid last session
BDO-NU pushed us to the wall. Buti nakalusot pa rin.
Gas utilities are harassing CNG operators while authorities have pushed us to the wall putting CNG industry in trouble, he noted.
He said that mindless policies have pushed us to the wall, therefore, it has now become important to ensure some relief to the people in the forthcoming budget.
Sohail Lashari said that mindless policies have pushed us to the wall therefore it has now become absolutely important to ensure some relief to the people in the forthcoming budget.
For enhancing productivity that is a prerequisite to economic growth, Dr Nadeemul Haq said that market reforms are the key as the lack of incentives for innovation and entrepreneurship has pushed us to the wall. The LCCI Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad while calling for development of a whole new mechanism to get rid of issues like bad governance, deteriorating law and order situation, heavy government borrowings and low tax-to-GDP ratio.