wit's end

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wit's end

A state of distress that is reached when someone has no more patience. Often used in the phrase "at wit's end" or "at (one's) wit's end." The baby's been crying for hours, and I've reached my wit's end! I'm already at wit's end, so if this train gets delayed too, I'm going to scream.
See also: end
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
That left me an orphan and folks were at their wits' end, so Mrs.
Thomas was at HER wits' end, so she said, what to do with me.
Being at my wits' end for want of money, and seeing what audiences Mathews drew, the idea occurred to me of starting an imitation of the great Imitator himself, in the shape of an "At Home," given by a woman.
Foote, seeing a sweep on a blood-horse, remarked, "There goes Warburton on Shakespeare!" When he heard that the Rockingham Cabinet was fatigued to death and at its wits' end, he exclaimed that it could not have been the length of the journey which had tired it.
I was about at my wits' end when it occurred to me to try it on the Latinist.
It appears they were at their wits' end what to do, the stores being so low that we must have been starved into surrender long before help came.
On the whole he could perceive that all who were there were people of quality; but with the figure, countenance, and bearing of Don Quixote he was at his wits' end; and all civilities having been exchanged, and the accommodation of the inn inquired into, it was settled, as it had been before settled, that all the women should retire to the garret that has been already mentioned, and that the men should remain outside as if to guard them; the Judge, therefore, was very well pleased to allow his daughter, for such the damsel was, to go with the ladies, which she did very willingly; and with part of the host's narrow bed and half of what the Judge had brought with him, they made a more comfortable arrangement for the night than they had expected.
And this not so much for the sake of his reputations--for, indeed, it was when he was at his wits' end that his energy and his versatility were most admirable--but because where he failed it happened too often that no one else succeeded, and that the tale was left forever without a conclusion.
My wife seemed to be as upset as myself, and I could see from the little questioning glances which she kept shooting at me that she understood that I disbelieved her statement, and that she was at her wits' end what to do.
"As things are now," I said, "if I was in your place, I should be at my wits' end."
Hannah scolded, Meg cried, and Jo was at her wits' end, till se decided to take things into her own hands.
MENO: O Socrates, I used to be told, before I knew you, that you were always doubting yourself and making others doubt; and now you are casting your spells over me, and I am simply getting bewitched and enchanted, and am at my wits' end. And if I may venture to make a jest upon you, you seem to me both in your appearance and in your power over others to be very like the flat torpedo fish, who torpifies those who come near him and touch him, as you have now torpified me, I think.
The stagnant water has become a breeding place for mosquitoes, and the people are at their wits' end. The problem has become so acute that more than 20 children in the neighbourhood where I live, contracted malaria.
IN THE name of goodness, how many more pages have to be devoted to criticism of Universal Credit before urgent action is taken to help people who are already at their wits' end? It shows how politicians aren't listening when, day after day, we read in the Record about the people who are having to wait for weeks for a payment, by which time they are in even worse financial straits and forced to rely on back-street lenders and food banks.
A FAMILY say they are at their "wits' end" having to battle to protect their home every time there is a torrential downpour.