last straw, the(redirected from straw that breaks the camel's back)
the last straw
The final problem, setback, or source of irritation in a series that causes one to finally lose patience or for something to stop working. A shortening of the proverb "it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back." I've been a good sport about letting Tom share the credit for my work, but this is the last straw! I'm finally going to expose him for the liar he is. OK, that's the last straw, kids! I told you to stop shouting back there, and now I'm turning this car around.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
last strawand the straw that broke the camel's back
the final difficulty in a series; the last little burden or problem that causes everything to collapse. (From the image of a camel being loaded down with much weight. Finally, at some point, one more straw will be too much and the camel's back will break.) When our best player came down sick, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. We hoped to make the playoffs, but lost all the rest of our games. When she showed up late a third time, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. We had to fire her.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
last straw, the
The final annoyance or setback, which even though minor makes one lose patience. For example, I could put up with his delays and missed deadlines, but when he claimed the work was unimportant-that was the last straw! This term is a shortening of the straw that broke the camel's back, which conveys a vivid image of an overloaded animal being given one slight additional weight. The expression dates from the mid-1800s, and replaced the earlier the last feather that breaks the horse's back.
See also: last
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
the last strawor
the final straw
COMMON If you say that something is the last straw or the final straw, you mean it is the latest in a series of bad events, and it makes you unable to deal with a situation any longer. An increase in mortgage rates could be the last straw for thousands of borrowers. The relationship had been in trouble for a while and Jack's behaviour that night was just the final straw. Compare with the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
the last (or final) strawa further difficulty or annoyance, typically minor in itself but coming on top of a whole series of difficulties, that makes a situation unbearable.
The full version of this is the proverb the last straw breaks the camel's back . The modern form is traceable to Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son ( 1848 ), but earlier versions are recorded, including a mid 17th-century reference to the last feather breaking a horse's back .
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
n. the final act or insult; the act that finally calls for a response. This is the last straw. I’m calling the police.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
last straw, the
The final minor irritation; one last superfluous item. This term, also put as the straw that broke the camel’s back, appears in Dickens’s Dombey and Son (1848). It is a version of the earlier “last feather that breaks the horse’s back,” found in Archbishop John Bramhall’s Works (1677) and repeated in Fuller’s Gnomologia (1732). Both convey a vivid image of something that would not be burdensome if there were not too much of it, but the straw version is the one that survived and became a cliché.
See also: last
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer