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
References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps many of the Last Straw crowd will have a change of heart in the voting booth.
But one day, the last straw will break the camel's back and turn the people's patience into uncontrollable anger.
The last straw was on Thursday, February 25, in an article concerning a new book written by Baroness Joyce Quin, who says of Prince Charles, and I quote, "his accession to the thrown could certainly cause some problems".
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.
This idea surely is the last straw and completely unacceptable.
Mr Grindrod, of Jarrow, who was also threatened with a knife nine years ago, said: "The robbery was the last straw.
They include Chocolate Therapy, a combination of chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies and swirls of chocolate pudding; In a Crunch, a base of peanut butter ice cream with chocolate-covered peanuts and a fudge swirl; The Last Straw, a blend of strawberry ice cream with a fudge truffle swirl and strawberry-fudge chunks; and Appley Ever After, made with brown sugar ice cream with a cinnamon-swirl and apples.
The last straw came when women already in labour called the store en route to hospital to ask if the gossip was true.
The last straw came when women in the early stages of labour called the store en-route to maternity wards to ask if the gossip was true
He and chairman Jeremy Peace had never seen eye to eye, and that looked like the last straw.
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.
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.
It was the last straw for the people who had been waiting for years to buy a ticket.
The last straw was a letter saying she owed rent and, if not paid she would be evicted and possibly black-listed.
The destruction of what had once been the community focal point seems to have been the last straw for residents.