Definition of when push comes to shove in English:

when push comes to shove

phrase

informal
  • When one must commit oneself to an action or decision:

    ‘when push came to shove, I always stood up for him’
    • ‘But when push comes to shove, he sold out to preserve his place in the party, and all for a man whose campaign attacked his family to score political points only 4 years ago.’
    • ‘I think when push comes to shove, the young people of the United States will react the same as generations before them.’
    • ‘But I think, when push comes to shove, he'll be there with us.’
    • ‘The good characters are decidedly saintly, and the bad guys aren't really all that bad when push comes to shove.’
    • ‘Is it possible you're totally wrong about North Korea, that the country is in such terrible shape that when push comes to shove, its military is going to turn out to be in just that kind of shape as well?’
    • ‘But again, I've got to think when push comes to shove, he won't do it.’
    • ‘While we'll work as a team, ultimately, when push comes to shove, Michael will have the final say.’
    • ‘But when push comes to shove, my greatest enjoyment can be summed up in one word: shopping.’
    • ‘They sometimes say they are, but in fact when push comes to shove, they are no more interested in the weaker clubs than they are in clubs that are not in Victoria.’
    • ‘But, two, I think it really helped when push comes to shove.’
    eventually, in the end, in the long run, at length, finally, sooner or later, in time, in the fullness of time, after some time, in the final analysis, when all is said and done, one day, some day, sometime, at last, at long last
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