Definition of paint oneself into a corner in US English:

paint oneself into a corner


  • Leave oneself no means of escape or room to maneuver.

    • ‘Matt Pike found himself painted into the opposite corner about ten years later.’
    • ‘So I think they've kind of painted themselves into a corner here, and we're working with them to help get them out of that corner.’
    • ‘As many of us have long suspected, the mandarins have painted themselves into a corner and just hoped that the problem would go away.’
    • ‘The result is that the distillers have painted themselves into a corner, albeit for the moment a profitable one.’
    • ‘We'd painted ourselves into a corner where we were limited by having to play new releases and I wouldn't have carried on doing radio if I was limited by that.’
    • ‘So the administration has done a pretty good job of painting itself into a corner where it has to act - and soon.’
    • ‘For all the exhilarating invention in these three books, however, there is also the sense of an author painting himself into a corner.’
    • ‘Beevor painted himself into a corner by marketing this book as a spy story.’
    • ‘We were not going to get painted into a corner with nowhere to go.’
    • ‘He's not sure he still holds true to that belief, but he likes making records - and, with some pundits arguing dance has painted itself into a corner, he's keen to prove them wrong.’