to have your back against the wall

Idiom Definition

"to have your back against the wall"

to be in a desperate situation with not many options available

Idiom Definition - have your back against the wall


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - have your back against the wall

A husband and wife are talking about paying the bills ...

Wife: What are we going to do? The mortgage is due tomorrow.

Husband: Is there any money left in the checking account?

Wife: No!

Husband: How about in the savings account?

Wife: Nothing!

Husband: Well, our backs are against the wall. We'll have to use our emergency money. We really have no other choice.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - have your back against the wall

Percy is normally a docile good-natured dog. He loves his owners. Percy never chases cats. Percy rarely even barks. He is very gentle and good with children.

One day, Percy's family was threatened by a lion. Percy had his back against the wall. He had no choice but to attack the lion.

to have your back against the wall - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   300   click for frequency by country

to have your back against the wall - Gerund Form:

Having your back against the wall may cause you to display desperate behaviors.

to have your back against the wall - Examples:

1)  It's not quite a life-altering back against the wall moment, but it puts perseverance in the spotlight.

2)  With its back against the wall, the royal palace sought to strike back in the week of Oct. 29.

3)  I think the opposition has its back against the wall and doesn't know what to do.

4)  With the Rivermen's back against the wall in the third period, things did not get started off on the right foot.

5)  When this group doesn't have its back against the wall, it tends to relax.

6)  Usually, losing four fumbles is enough to put a team's back against the wall.

7)  But with my back against the wall, I want proven fantasy superstars.

8)  With his back against the wall, Kolb said that it allowed him to let loose.

9)  You do your best work with your back against the wall, when you are uncomfortable and you put yourself in free fall, on purpose.

10)  He hasn't suffered a sack all night, but with LSU's back against the wall, the Tigers have decided to bring the pressure. 

11)  They must be used to having to fight with their back against the wall. Time they learn to be a bit collegial.

12)  Being broke and with your back against the wall might provide extra motivation.

13)  But a new opportunity arose when Britain was with the back against the wall in a war it had initiated, WW1. 

14)  Almost impossible to govern a country with your back against the wall.

15)  It seems I am clearly in the minority; back against the wall. I think I need to talk about Kevin.

16)  Israel is that man with his back against the wall fighting for his life.

17)  A company with its back against the wall becomes trigger happy with cutbacks.

18)  Good luck to anyone with their back against the wall, you'll need it.

19) A group of eccentrics with their back against the wall struggle to triumph against the odds. 

20)  Did she find herself with her back against the wall with the Carbon Tax? Yes.