the last straw


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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.
See also: last, straw

last straw

 and 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.
See also: last, straw

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 last straw

or

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.
See also: last, straw

the last (or final) straw

a 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 .
See also: last, straw

last straw

n. the final act or insult; the act that finally calls for a response. This is the last straw. I’m calling the police.
See also: last, straw

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
References in periodicals archive ?
'When my house was attacked and broken into last week that was the last straw. I have my family to think about.'
The raising of Lazarus four days after he had died was the last straw as far as the chief priests and Pharisees were concerned and they plotted to kill Jesus, getting unexpected help from one of Christ's own apostles, Judas, who was willing to betray his master for 30 pieces of silver.
It was the last straw for the people who had been waiting for years to buy a ticket.
When Lucy's dog dies it's the last straw, and she runs off herself, ending up as a hand on a crabbing boat on the icy waters of the Bering Sea.
The last straw was the celebration of the Assumption on August 15, attended by 83,000 pilgrims of whom only 3,000 were Orthodox, the rest Catholics.
"This was like the last straw for people," said Kathy J.
Pesticides have been a factor, but the mites were clearly and definitively the last straw in causing this population collapse."
THE last straw for Katie Price in her doomed marriage to Alex Reid was the sight of him taking her youngest son to a cagefighting training session.
One court order forbade him from opening the bar in the run-up to Christmas and he said that was "the last straw".
"If they can't get their cheques, there's a worry that if the recession didn't finish them off then this is going to be the last straw."
After many, many disappointments with Huddersfield Town, is this the last straw? Not quite, but a nice armchair and television on a cold day is becoming more inviting with every game.
The debacle at Dundee United, when Romanov told first team coach Graham Rix the team that would play at Tannadice, was the last straw for Andy Webster, Craig Gordon and Paul Hartley.
He and chairman Jeremy Peace had never seen eye to eye, and that looked like the last straw.
For many, myself included, this Wayne Rooney situation is the last straw for us.
The last straw was a letter saying she owed rent and, if not paid she would be evicted and possibly black-listed.