when push comes to shove


Also found in: Acronyms.

if push comes to shove

If the situation deteriorates or becomes desperate; if drastic measures are needed. If push comes to shove, I have some extra savings I could tap into. We'll at least have some leverage in the negotiations if push comes to shove.
See also: come, if, push, shove

when push comes to shove

When the situation deteriorates or becomes desperate; when drastic measures are needed. When push comes to shove, I have some extra savings I could tap into. We'll at least have some leverage in the negotiations when push comes to shove.
See also: come, push, shove

when push comes to shove

 and if push comes to shove
Fig. when things get a little pressed; when the situation gets more active or intense. When push comes to shove, you know I'll be on your side. If push comes to shove at the meeting, the front office can back you up with some statistics.
See also: come, push, shove

when push comes to shove

or

if push comes to shove

COMMON If you talk about what someone will do when push comes to shove or if push comes to shove, you are talking about what they will do when it becomes necessary to do something difficult. They knew they could sit back, and when push came to shove I'd do all the work. They wouldn't support you, sir. If push came to shove, they wouldn't be behind you. Compare with when it comes to the crunch.
See also: come, push, shove

when (or if) push comes to shove

when action must be taken; if the worst comes to the worst. informal
2001 Financial Director When push comes to shove, investors are not always impressed with promises of jam tomorrow.
See also: come, push, shove

if/when ˌpush comes to ˈshove

(informal) if/when there is no other choice; if/when everything else has failed: I don’t want to sell the house, but if push comes to shove, I might have to.
Shove means to push somebody in a rough way.
See also: come, if, push, shove

if push comes to shove

verb
See also: come, if, push, shove

when push comes to shove

and if push comes to shove
phr. when things get a little pressed; when the situation gets more active or intense. If push comes to shove, the front office can help with some statistics.
See also: come, push, shove

push comes to shove, if/when

If/when matters become serious; when the situation is crucial; if worst comes to worst. This term, with its further implication that action should back up words, appears to have originated in African-American English around the middle of the twentieth century. Murtagh and Harris used it in Cast the First Stone (1958): “Some judges talk nice and polite. . . . Then, when push comes to shove, they say, ‘Six months.’”
See also: come, if, push
References in periodicals archive ?
Jo (pictured), who used to be head of training at MG Rover and is writing a weekly column for the BBC programme, said: "When push comes to shove, it's amazing what people will do to win.
'When push comes to shove, I am pretty sure he will stay with Mr Blair,' he said.
The favourite looked sure to win when cruising up to Cooling Off on the bridle approaching the last, but he has never been one to find much when push comes to shove and the Betfair punter who laid a bet of pounds 70 at 50-1 on the winner in running after the last flight had been jumped must have been out of the country for the last couple of seasons.
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE David Beckham gets a friendly grip on Shaun Wright-Phillips during training yesterday
When push comes to shove, it's usually the girlfriend who gets pushed.
It seems to me that when push comes to shove, there is no difference in thinking between the hierarchy in the US and the hierarchy in China.
"I think Kerry have found three WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE Paidi O Se has played down the altercation between Kerry and Cork or four new players and maybe even half a dozen players.
They are indeed our 24/7 angels and filled me with pride, knowing that when push comes to shove these people are all around willing to help, no matter what.
But when push comes to shove she'd have faced motherhood virtually alone.
WHEN push comes to shove you can't keep a good man down.
But when push comes to shove, he looked distinctly uncomfortable.
Our blowhard MSPs only proved that when push comes to shove they're a bunch of lightweights.
WHEN push comes to shove, former Bond star Pierce Brosnan showed he's a super-fit dad as he returned from a family holiday.
He said: "When push comes to shove, the Lib-Dems have continually failed to put policy into practice.
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