back against the wall

back against the wall


  • to be in a tough situation with limited options
  • to be in trouble and not have many ways out
  • to not have retreat from a bad situation

Example Sentences

  1. The company has its back against the wall and if the employees do not help out now, it will be bankrupt soon.
  2. I had my back against the wall, health wise, when I had my first child. But she was the reason why I kept trying to get better.
  3. No one should be in a situation like that, with their back against the wall, fighting with their loved ones.
  4. When you have your back against the wall, you will have no time to realize what went wrong and how you can correct it.
  5. People who have their back against the wall should not be the ones trying to teach others how to run a business.


The phrase originates from a situation when a person is encountered with a fight with his back against the wall. Possibly in the military, and while he cannot get attacked from the back, he does not have a way of moving forward too without facing the enemy. The only option is to resist in the best possible way and fight until there is a verdict.

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