Definition of up against in English:

up against

phrase

  • 1Close to or in contact with.

    ‘crowds pressed up against the barricades’
    • ‘So it was down guitars again and leaning out the window to witness the police pinning this guy up against my front door.’
    • ‘When she turned into the passage I pressed myself up against the wall and held my finger over my lips.’
    • ‘The door appeared to have a table pushed up against it, and there's rather too much noise going on in there to be healthy.’
    • ‘I don't like standing in a packed out lift with people pressed right up against me.’
    • ‘Later, I saw the pair of them with their noses pressed up against the back door of our neighbours.’
    • ‘Her eyes were closed and she was propped up against the trunk of the tree.’
    • ‘An abandoned house - well, abandoned except for the cattle rubbing up against it.’
    • ‘He was leaning up against the door, pressing his ear to the wood to see if she was coming to let him in.’
    • ‘Jackie was leaned up against a tree with his eyes closed and his hands on his stomach.’
    • ‘He pulled me close but I freaked and found myself pushed up against my side of the car.’
    touching, in contact with, close up to, up against, abutting, on, adjacent to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Confronted with.
      ‘I began to think of what teachers are up against today’
      • ‘England will be up against a degree of mental hardness which no other Test country begins to approach.’
      • ‘After running the top dogs close, City are up against a side just a point below them.’
      • ‘On the day they were up against a very good side who never allowed them to play to their potential.’
      • ‘You have to stay close to your opponents, especially when you are up against big names, and we did that.’
      • ‘They are playing on foreign soil, are a long way from home and will be up against a very partisan crowd.’
      • ‘It was a tough task for the elder of the siblings, who was up against Davis Cup exponent David Sherwood.’
      • ‘Tommy did very well in a very tough category where he was up against strong competition.’
      • ‘The letter from Mr Ritter only goes to show the problems we are up against.’
      • ‘When we look at what we are up against, it would be absolutely fundamental.’
      • ‘You will learn why it is so crucial that we fight on, who's on our side, and who/what we are up against.’
    2. 1.2up against itinformal In a difficult situation.
      ‘they play better when they're up against it’
      • ‘People are visibly up against it, unless they're in the parallel dollar-economy.’
      • ‘Norwich City were up against it from day one in the Premiership.’
      • ‘Both 20, and up against it, they become friends and wind up sharing an apartment.’
      • ‘Suddenly, Yorkshire were up against it and there was no way back when Fellows became the first of the run out victims.’
      • ‘We'll be up against it, but it's a challenge that every player is looking forward to.’
      • ‘We were up against it, because we had to play more than an hour with one man less.’
      • ‘We didn't get the call until 2pm and we knew we would be up against it for the rest of the day.’
      • ‘Given Kildare's population, smaller counties are really up against it.’
      • ‘Regulars at the Frog Hall are up against it in their battle to save the pub.’
      • ‘Bruce, is it tough when the client is up against it media-wise?’
      destitute, poverty-stricken, impoverished, indigent, penniless, insolvent, impecunious, ruined, pauperized, without a penny to one's name, without two farthings to rub together, without two pennies to rub together
      View synonyms