hard up


In need, poor, as in Unemployment is rising and many families are hard up, or With widespread emigration, Russia is finding itself hard up for scientists and other professional people. [Colloquial; early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.