the last gasp

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

the last gasp of (something)

The final part before the end of something, such as a period, movement, etc. Some say we're seeing the last gasp of capitalism, but I think that view ignores a lot of factors.
See also: gasp, last, of

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

the last gasp

COMMON The last gasp of a long process or period of time is the very last active stage of it. The summer of '92 may be looked upon with nostalgia as the last gasp of the live rock concert era. Eleven thousand years ago, at the last gasp of the ice age, the area was covered with forest. Note: You can also use last gasp before a noun to say that something is achieved at the last possible moment. Dalziel watched his side snatch a last gasp victory with two late goals. Note: These phrases come from 2 Maccabes 7:9 in the Apocrypha of the Bible. Seven brothers and their mother were tortured by King Antiochus, and one of the brothers spoke out defiantly `when he was at his last gasp', or when he was dying.
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 ?
As all eyes must remain wide open in facing up to the last gasp of orgiastic Takfeerist death, the Lebanese people's option to commit to confrontation and resisting of any aggression is ultimately made, Rd concluded.
To be fair, it should be pointed out that the last gasp of the Trudeau Liberals was to transform its creation, the Canadian Film Development Corp.
Currently the company has two projects in pre-production: "Pipe Dreams," a very intriguing action-packed film staging from the memorable 1980s portraying the twists and turns of the lives of two young Jewish boys, who find adversity at such a young age now travel down a dark road that they now see as paved with fame and fortune in New York City; and "Ashtabula Moon," a feature film displaying the end of the Big 80s exhibiting the last gasp of "Rock Before Grunge" depicting how the lives of an aging rock star, a newly agitated divorced mother, a young Catholic school girl and a Mother Superior nun school principal all come together.
WE'VE BEEN DOWN in The Bunker before, but what separates Oliver Hirschbiegel's painstaking and provocative look at the last gasp of Hitler's Third Reich, ``Downfall,'' is that, for the first time since 1956, it's a German filmmaker who's sifting through the rubble.
That makes it a good time to enjoy the last gasp of the summer season's many events, free and otherwise, that draw crowds from all over the city to destinations such as Skirball Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Santa Monica Pier, and the many clubs and venues throughout the city.
At this point, ``Survivor: Africa'' represents the last gasp for the once-unfathomable phenomenon that was reality TV, a genre that has withered away, seemingly overnight, in the wake of Sept.
Scientists suggested that the emissions represent the last gasps of gas falling into this candidate black hole.