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Related to straits: financial straits

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

desperate straits

An especially difficult, bleak, or grim situation. The recent nosedive in the stock market has left many companies in desperate straits. Long-term unemployment and health issues drive many people to desperate straits in this part of the country.
See also: desperate, 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 desperate straits

In an especially difficult, bleak, or grim situation. The recent nosedive in the stock market has left many companies in desperate straits. I was in desperate straits there for a while, but I'm feeling much better after my hospital stay.
See also: desperate, 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.

desperate straits

A very difficult situation. The noun “strait,” usually in the plural (straits), has been used since the 1600s to mean a dilemma of some kind. One of the earliest pairings with “desperate” was in Harriet Martineau’s The History of England during the Thirty Years’ Peace (1849): “Never were Whig rulers reduced to more desperate straits.” Today the term is used both seriously and ironically, as in “We’re in desperate straits today—the newspaper never arrived.”
See also: desperate, 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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Recent attacks on a number of vessels and the seizure of a British- registered tanker undermine the right of transit passage and threaten the maritime security of all ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a report said.
It noted that Saudi Arabia's East-West pipeline system transports crude from the oil-rich Eastern province to the port of Yanbu on the Red Sea and the UAE's Habshan-Fujairah pipeline bypasses the Strait of Hormuz by connecting the oil fields in Abu Dhabi to the export terminal in Fujairah.
SANAA - As they advance south, Yemen's Iran-linked Huthi militiamen are moving within striking distance of the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, a vital corridor through which much of the world's maritime trade passes.
"We'd been presented with the opportunity to put a band together to play at a charity show at the Albert Hall, and as I'd recently discovered Terence Reis and heard him performing some Dire Straits songs rather brilliantly, it seemed the logical thing to do to form a band around him," he adds.
He called for deepened people-to-people exchanges across the Strait to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and expand people's welfare.
Iranian-born Rouhollah Ramazani, a scholar and author of The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, recently wrote: "The worldwide interest in the shipment of oil through the Strait of Hormuz elevates this relatively narrow and shallow waterway to the position of the international oil highway".
This line-up had the potential to do Dire Straits justice.
ROCK band Dire Straits have announced tour dates that will see them play in Newcastle.
Chen Yunlin's Taiwanese counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung of the semiofficial Straits Exchange Foundation, used ''peaceful cross-strait development'' once, fleetingly, in his welcome speech on arrival at the Chongqing hotel where the negotiations took place.
"Oil-tanker transportation through the straits is not sustainable anymore," Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu said Thursday, as cited by the Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily, following the summit during which the government and the companies agreed in principle that precautionary measures must be taken to protect Istanbul's heavily trafficked Bosphorus Strait from an environmentally disastrous oil spill.
The Turkish Straits System (TSS), consisting of the Marmara Sea, the Strait of Istanbul (Bosporus) and the Strait of Canakkale (Dardanelles), are very complicated and narrow waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea (see Fig.
Sandwiched between the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia and the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, lies the 500-mile (800 km) Straits of Malacca, one of the world's most pivotal waterways.
It is the traditional costume of Straits Chinese ladies and other Peranakan women from Indonesia and Thailand.