Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts
back (is) (against/to) the wall
back against the wallback is against the wallback to the wallback is to the wall
1) be in a very difficult and limiting situation
How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
with the deadline approaching, my back is against the wall
This expression does not just refer to a difficult situation, it refers to one in which your options to escape are limited. It also implies an inability to retreat, so a person with their 'back against the wall' would need to face their problems and fight and work hard to avoid failure or defeat. It is common in both a social and professional context, and is similar to the phrase 'between a rock and a hard place.'
Social Examples (Basic)
The bank are threatening to foreclose on Sarah's house if she fails to make her next mortgage payment. Her back is really against the wall now.
When you have your back to the wall, it's better to keep fighting rather than choosing to give up.
Professional Examples (Basic)
With the deadline approaching rapidly, my back was against the wall. I had no choice but to work through the night to get my article finished.
We knew that with so much work to be done we had our backs to the wall, but the whole team pulled together brilliantly and worked their socks off.
EnglishLogica® 2019. The content of this website is the intellectual property of Yashmi Consulting Ltd., and is intended for educational purposes only. This content is not to be used for commercial purposes without express permission from its copyright owners. Reproduction or embedding of this content on any media or platform will constitute copyright infringement.