up against (something)

up against (something)

Having or being likely to face serious problems, stresses, or difficulties. Each year, more and more families are up against debt going into the holiday season. Sorry I haven't been in touch recently, I've just really been up against it in work the last few weeks. This team is undefeated, so we're up against our biggest challenge this season.
See also: up

up against it

Having or likely to face serious problems, stresses, or difficulties. Each year, more and more families find themselves up against it going into the holiday season. Sorry I haven't been in touch recently, I've just really been up against it at work the last few weeks.
See also: up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*up against someone or something

in opposition to someone or something, as in a contest. (*Typically: be ~; come ~; go ~; run ~; team ~.) Let's team up against Paul and Tony in the footrace. We came up against a very strong team.
See also: up

*up against something

 
1. Fig. resting firmly against something. (*Typically: be ~; place something ~.) The car is up against the back of the garage! Back out a little!
2. Fig. in conflict with something; facing something as a barrier. (Fig. on {2}. *Typically: be ~; go ~.) l am up against some serious problems.
See also: up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

up against

Contending or confronted with, as in I'm up against a strong opponent in this election. This idiom is also put as up against it, which means "in serious difficulty, especially in desperate financial straits." For example, When the collection agency called again, we knew we were up against it. [Late 1800s]
See also: up
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.

up against it

INFORMAL
If you are up against it, you have a very difficult problem or situation to deal with. Playing into the wind in the second half, the team were really up against it. You have to help me — I'm really up against it at the moment.
See also: up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

up against it

facing some serious but unspecified difficulty. informal
See also: up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up aˈgainst it

(informal) in a difficult situation: Two of the staff are sick and the order has to be ready for delivery by this evening, so we’re really up against it.
See also: up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up against it

mod. having a personal crisis; having a financial crisis. This is my bad season. I’m really up against it.
See also: up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

up against

Confronted with; facing: up against a strong opponent.
See also: up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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