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In a difficult situation - thesaurus




in a difficult situation because you do not have enough time, money, or other things that you need



suffering from unfair and cruel treatment by a more powerful person or government



if a situation is deadlocked, or if people are deadlocked, there is a serious disagreement and neither person or group involved in it is willing to change their opinions or position



unable to solve a problem and continue working



having a lot of problems or criticism to deal with



involved in a difficult situation

worse off


in a worse situation than you were before, or than someone else is now

out of your depth

in a situation that you cannot deal with because it is too difficult or dangerous

in deep trouble

in a very difficult situation

up against something

in a very difficult situation, or with a serious problem to deal with

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More synonyms

a marked man/woman

a man or woman who is in danger because someone wants to hurt or kill them

at/on the receiving end (of something)

affected by something unpleasant

at risk

in a situation in which something unpleasant or dangerous could happen to you

back to/at square one

in the same situation that you were in before you started to do something, with no progress made



having experienced a lot of difficulty

be done for

informal to be likely to be punished, hurt, or killed

between the devil and the deep blue sea

in a difficult situation where you have to choose between two equally bad things



if you are caught between two opposite feelings or actions, you do not know how to react to something



informal in serious trouble



disadvantaged people do not have the same advantages as other people, for example because they do not have much money



old-fashioned suffering great difficulties because of a lack of money, food, or other basic things



treated in a cruel or unfair way by someone in a position of power



mainly journalism experiencing a lot of problems and likely to be defeated or destroyed



formal involved in a complicated or unpleasant situation that it is difficult to escape from



prevented from doing what you want to do

hoist with/by your own petard

suffering as a result of your attempt to harm someone else

in a bind

informal in a difficult situation

in a hole

in a difficult situation

in a pickle

in a difficult situation

in/at/on the front line

in a position, especially in an organization or group, where you are the most likely to be criticized or attacked

in deep doo-doo

informal in serious trouble

in deep shit/in the shit

in trouble

in extremis


formal in a very difficult or dangerous situation that needs to be dealt with immediately

(in) for the high jump

if someone is in for the high jump, they are going to be punished because they have done something bad or are responsible for something that failed

in hot water

in trouble because of something that you have done

in/into deep water

in a difficult or serious situation

in the doghouse

American if you are in the doghouse, someone is angry with you because you have done something wrong

in the eye of the storm

in the middle of a difficult situation

in the face of something

in a situation where you have to deal with something unpleasant or difficult

in the same boat

in the same difficult or unpleasant situation

in the throes of something

involved in a difficult or unpleasant situation or activity



if you are knee-deep in work or problems, you have a lot of work or problems

liable to something

likely to suffer from something unpleasant



caught in an unpleasant situation that you cannot easily escape from

on a sticky wicket

in a difficult or embarrassing situation

on the back foot

in a worse situation than other people or groups

on the horns of a dilemma

in a situation in which you have to decide between two equally unpleasant choices

on the rack

in a difficult situation that you cannot deal with

on thin ice

at risk of upsetting or annoying someone

over a barrel

if someone has you over a barrel, they know that you are in a difficult situation and that you will have to do what they want

perilously close to (doing) something

mainly literary at a point at which you nearly do something dangerous or unpleasant

pushed (for time/money)

informal in difficulty because you do not have enough time or money



formal a country or organization that is riven by disagreement or other difficulties is divided by them

(skating) on thin ice

doing something dangerous, or something that could have an unpleasant result



if people or discussions are stalemated, they are unable to make progress



forced to have, use, or deal with someone or something that you do not want



informal in a situation that you do not like but cannot avoid



a troubled place, time, or situation is affected by many problems



underrepresented groups do not have enough people with power to speak for them or to help them

under the cosh

Britishinformal experiencing difficulty or criticism

under the gun

under a lot of pressure and not certain that you will succeed

up a gum tree

in a very difficult situation

up to your neck/ears/eyes in something

involved in a difficult situation, or with more work to do than you can deal with



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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