if push comes to shove

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - if push comes to shove

"if push comes to shove"

if a situation becomes serious


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - if push comes to shove

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: That supplier's negotiation team were sure tough negotiators yesterday.

Colleague 2: And it seems that an impasse was reached. I am not sure where we go from there.

Colleague 1: I suppose that if push comes to shove and we just can't find a way to move forward that we will have to issue an ultimatum and hope the supplier's team agrees.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - if push comes to shove

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: How are you and your wife doing in marriage counseling?

Friend 2: The process is really good. It has helped us to realize that we are simply incompatible.

Friend 1: And if you two cannot find a way to become more compatible, what does that mean for your marriage?

Friend 2: It means that if push comes to shove, a divorce is inevitable.

Test Your Understanding  

if push comes to shove - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   241   click for frequency by country

if push comes to shove - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for if push comes to shove.

if push comes to shove - Examples:

1)  ... party really understands or is committed to the country. If push comes to shove, they will always act on behalf of their urban base.

2)  Astronauts in orbit do not provide supremacy in space either. If push comes to shove they are very soft targets for an anti-satellite missile.

3)  Spain and in Greece who have introduced vicious austerity programmes. If push comes to shove, Holland will be prepared to do the same. 

4)  Wait and do nothing. But if push comes to shove, get it legally protected via a conservation group.

5)  I've told him numerous times that if push comes to shove, I'd choose her over him.

6)  I have always loved the country, but if push comes to shove, I would choose the city.

7)  ... have some local currency immediately available whenever you travel Internationally. If push comes to shove, you can change US currency to local currency at the airport prior to departure.

8)  But if push comes to shove? Then we disagree more than we agree. 

9)  If push comes to shove people could be pressed to work the land through the welfare or prison systems.

10)  ... know their strengths and weaknesses, easier to destroy if push comes to shove.

11)  ... the US nuclear umbrella, which has one inescapable consequence: if push comes to shove, they all depend on nuclear deterrence as their ultimate insurance policy.

12)  ... everyone has some massive circle of friends. I think if push comes to shove, the large majority would be able to name their real friends on the fingers of one hand.

13)  ... one of us should have the right the freedom to demonstrate if push comes to shove and we should not have to pay for that very important freedom. 

14)  I ask because if push comes to shove you want it on record that you raised this concern and you have evidence to ...

15)  ... control it, lose control of it, demonise it and if push comes to shove ban it (publicly if not totally).

16)  So she needs to think if push comes to shove is she happy to do it on her own. 

17)  ... and I've been assured that if push comes to shove and I do have to move people will help me pack and move.

18)  If push comes to shove and they withdraw charity status from the church then people should be upset about it.

19)  If push comes to shove, he may be forced to make this or that concession under pressure from the ...

20)  ... and avoids conflict but will stand his ground if push comes to shove