up against the wall

up against the wall

In a difficult or troubling situation in which one's options or ability to act are limited or constrained. I just feel like I'm up against a wall with all these creditors breathing down my neck. Sometimes, the most innovative solutions come to us when we're up against a wall.
See also: up, wall
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*up against the wall

Fig. in serious difficulties. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; push someone ~.) Let's face it, we're up against the wall this time. It's when you're up against the wall that your true character shows.
See also: up, wall
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

up against the wall

in an inextricable situation; in great trouble or difficulty.
The image here is of someone facing execution by a firing squad.
See also: up, wall
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The tasks were: climbing to the top of a 70-foot ladder; climbing an extension ladder twice while carrying a hose pack; removing a ladder from a firetruck, carrying the ladder to a wall, leaning it up against the wall, and then removing it and returning it to the truck; connecting a hose to a fire hydrant, turning the hydrant on and off, and disconnecting the hose; and dragging a section of hose filled with water fifty feet, dragging a tarpaulin to the top of a hill, carrying the tarp through ten tires, and again dragging a section of hose filled with water fifty feet." 881 F.2d at 383, 384.