to grasp at straws

Idiom Definition

"to grasp at straws"

to desperately try to solve a problem or remediate a situation using any possible solution however small the hopes of success

Idiom Definition - to grasp at straws


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to grasp at straws

A husband and wife are talking ...

Wife:  What are we going to do?  We are two months behind with the mortgage.  We've had a repossession notice on the car and our daughters' school fees are due next week.

Husband:  I'm sorry that I've been out of work for the last year.  Maybe we could ask our parents for money.

Wife:  We've already asked for too much from them.

Husband:  Could we take a second mortgage out on the house?

Wife:  The bank won't agree.

Husband:  We could break open the childrens' piggy banks.

Wife:  Now you're grasping at straws.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to grasp at straws

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Our new product launch is scheduled for the day after tomorrow and the supplier just telephoned to say that shipping will be delayed for a week.

Colleague 2:  What are we going to do?

Colleague 1:  We could delay the launch.

Colleague 2:  Impossible.  All the publicity and advertising is in place.

Colleague 1:  We could use the demo models for the launch.

Colleague 2:  And if people want to actually buy the product?

Colleague 1:  We could just explain the situation and make excuses.

Colleague 2:  You're just grasping at straws now.  Our situation is desperate.

to grasp at straws - Usage:


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to grasp at straws - Gerund Form:

Grasping at straws usually signals a desperate situation.

to grasp at straws - Examples:

1)  If the designer needs to grasp at straws to find what you're looking for, frustration will mount on both sides.

2)  This is just another laughable example of homeopaths' need to grasp at straws of real science to try to claim legitimacy.

3)  And I don't need to grasp at straws, I can ban you in two mouse-clicks if I want to.

4)  Don't grasp at straws but ask for evidence, and seek advice on how reliable that evidence really is.

5)  I think I am nearly out of ideas, and somewhat starting to grasp at straws!

6)  I suppose a drowning man will grasp at straws.

7)  It really is annoying when people grasp at straws to fit each other up for bigotry.

8)  They grasp at straws, they flit from one philosophy to the next, they incessantly search for the answers.

9)  Highlighting these isolated responses is a last-ditch attempt to grasp at straws.

10)  Perhaps an inner awareness of playing a losing game made him grasp at straws.

11)  Rather than just grasping at straws and offering up floppy band-aids, just admit you're in over head.

12)  I think he is grasping at straws in trying to find a solution to the problem.

13)  Well, in the face of such a ruthless demonstration of genius, grasping at straws is the only strategy.

14)  Call it grasping at straws or blind faith and optimism but I really believe that there were signs of improvement.

15)  People are really grasping at straws if they think this has any significance to 911.

16)  It is just people desperately grasping at straws, trying to find a twist that isn't there.

17)  Hodgson, however, was not grasping at straws when he argued there were still plenty of positives.

18)  I couldn't help but feel though that his teacher was grasping at straws trying to explain his poor behavior.

19)  Politics aside when you are grasping at straws like that to discredit your opponent it just makes you appear small-minded.

20)  I'm not sure why you take the grasping at straws approach to justifying why your PS3 is the best thing since sliced bread.