Definition of with one's back to (or up against) the wall in English:

with one's back to (or up against) the wall

phrase

  • In a desperate situation.

    • ‘He has shown that he is a man who fights best with his back to the wall.’
    • ‘In fact the most terrifying scenario I could imagine is if the tyrant found himself with his back to the wall.’
    • ‘But with his back to the wall, Milkins produced his best snooker.’
    • ‘He is always at his best with his back to the wall.’
    • ‘Facing defeat and with his back to the wall, he played dirty.’
    • ‘But that he is on the defensive should send out a word of warning to all who cross his path: Hewitt with his back to the wall is a very dangerous creature indeed.’
    • ‘Yet he continues to manage Dell with the urgency and determination of a college kid with his back to the wall.’
    • ‘‘He's got superb movement and first touch and when you play with your back to the wall you need that,’ said Hoddle.’
    • ‘He has often had to work with his back to the wall to find a consensus among his party colleagues.’