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To be in, or to get into a difficult situation - thesaurus


run out of road

to have come to the end of all possibilities for action



to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation



to experience something, especially something that is unpleasant but necessary

come under

to be forced to experience something unpleasant



to suffer something difficult or unpleasant in a patient way over a long period



to experience something unpleasant as a result of something that you have done

go through

to experience something difficult or unpleasant

be in dire/desperate straits

to be in a very difficult situation, especially one involving a lack of money

be (caught/stuck) between a rock and a hard place

to be in a position in which you have to choose between two things that are not good

be in the grip of something

to be in a difficult or unpleasant situation

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More synonyms

a bad/sticky/difficult/rough patch

a period of time in your life that is difficult or unpleasant

be at/reach (a) low ebb

to be in a very small, weak, or unsuccessful state

be at the sharp end of something

to be involved in the most difficult or dangerous part of something

be (caught/stuck) in the middle

if you are caught or stuck in the middle of two people who are arguing, you feel as though you are expected to support both of them

be chained to something

to be forced to stay in an unpleasant situation

be cursed with something

to have a particular serious problem that continues or is repeated for a long time

be/get burned

to suffer by being treated badly, especially in a relationship

be/get caught (up) in something

to become unexpectedly involved in an unpleasant or annoying situation

be/get in over your head

to be or become involved in a situation in which you do not have the necessary skills, knowledge, or money to succeed

be/get tangled up in something

to be or become involved in a difficult situation

be hard hit/hit hard

to be very badly affected by something

be hard put/pressed/pushed to do something

to find it very difficult to do something

be in a cleft stick

to be in a difficult situation, especially one that forces you to make one of two choices that will each bring problems

be in dead trouble/be dead meat

to be in serious trouble

be in the soup

to have a lot of problems

be pushed to do something

informal to have difficulty in doing something

be sunk

to be in a bad situation that will bring problems or defeat

be threatened with something

to be likely to be affected by something bad

be torn by something

mainly journalism if a place or group of people is torn by an unpleasant event or situation, it is very seriously affected by it

be up the creek (without a paddle)

to be in a difficult situation

bump up against

to experience a problem that slows down your progress



mainly American to be in a situation that changes quickly in an uncontrolled way



to be in a situation that you cannot control because things are happening so quickly

carry a (heavy) load/burden

to have responsibility for something difficult or unpleasant

come to grief

to have an accident

come up against

to have to deal with something difficult or unpleasant

do something the hard way

to have a bad experience doing something, often when this is your own fault

draw/get the short straw

to be the person in a group who has to do an unpleasant or difficult job



to experience or deal with something, especially a problem



if you face a problem, or if it faces you, it is likely or certain to happen and you have to deal with it

fall foul of

to get into trouble with someone or something



to experience difficulties and be likely to fail

get the rough end of the pineapple

to be treated in an unfair way

get what’s coming to you

to experience something bad, which you deserve

go through/put someone through the mill

to experience a difficult or unpleasant period of time

go through/put someone through the wringer

American to suffer, or to make someone suffer, an unpleasant experience

have a job doing/to do something

to have difficulties doing something

have a job on your hands

to have a difficult piece of work to do

have a lot/too much to lose

to be in a position where something bad might happen if you are not successful

have a torrid time

to experience a very difficult period of time

have had it

if someone has had it, they are in serious trouble, or they are going to fail

have had your chips

to be in a bad situation that will not get better

have nothing to lose

if you have nothing to lose, you can try something because even if you fail it will not make your situation any worse, but you might gain if you succeed

have your back to the wall

to be in a difficult situation with few choices, so that you have to work or fight very hard

have your work cut out (for you)

to have a difficult job to do



informal to have a problem when you are trying to do something

labour under

to exist or try to live in a situation where there are serious difficulties or problems



informal to be in an unpleasant situation or place, or to cause someone to be in an unpleasant situation or place



to remain in a difficult or unpleasant situation for a long time

let yourself in for something

informal to put yourself in a difficult situation

lurch from something to something

to keep having serious problems, usually caused by a lack of judgment

meet with

to unexpectedly experience trouble, danger, difficulty etc

meet your match

to be in a situation in which your opponent is as good as you or better

not have a leg to stand on

to not have any way of proving that you are right about something

not know where/which way to turn

to not know what to do in a difficult situation



to suffer because of something that you have done



to suddenly put someone or something in a much less successful situation, or to be suddenly put in such a situation

plunge into

to suddenly get into a particular state or situation

pull in different/opposite directions

to be in a situation in which you feel loyalty to opposing aims or people

run into/come up against/hit etc a (brick) wall

to reach a point in a process where there are problems that seem impossible to solve

run into trouble/difficulty/problems etc

to start to have trouble/difficulty/problems etc

run the gauntlet

to experience a difficult situation, for example a lot of questions, criticism, or attacks

run up against

if you run up against problems, difficulties etc, you have to deal with them

sandwich between

to face a difficult choice between two duties or responsibilities

someone has been to hell and back

someone has suffered a lot or has had bad experiences

stare something in the face

if you are staring something unpleasant in the face, you are close to suffering it



to allow something to happen to you, especially something unpleasant



to experience something very unpleasant or painful



formal to experience loss, injury, damage etc

take a battering

to suffer very badly, for example by being easily defeated

take a hit

to suffer damage or loss

take a pounding

to suffer a lot of damage

take shit from someone

to let someone treat you badly

walk a tightrope

to be in a difficult situation in which a very small mistake could have very bad results



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

BuzzWord Article

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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