1. (modifier) done in desperation at the last minute: a last-gasp attempt to save the talks

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

How to use last-gasp in a sentence

  • Doesn't it seem strange, that when I am at the last gasp with agony, I should find myself thinking of lines of poetry?

    Love's Pilgrimage | Upton Sinclair
  • The traitorous repulse that we have suffered indicates the last gasp, the final convulsions of the dying.

    The Reign of Greed | Jose Rizal
  • With despair set upon their faces, the Yale men went to the bat, ready to fight to the last gasp.

    Frank Merriwell's Races | Burt L. Standish
  • To the last gasp he would maintain his hold on life, and give fortune a chance to save him.

    The Backwoodsmen | Charles G. D. Roberts
  • When a man appeals against his love to the woman who loves him, his resolutions are at their last gasp for existence.

    Greifenstein | F. Marion Crawford

Other Idioms and Phrases with last-gasp


The moment before death; also, the end. For example, “Fight till the last gasp” (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, 1:2), or He was determined to stay at the party until the last gasp. This idiom alludes to taking one's last breath, literally (first example) or figuratively (second example). [Late 1500s]

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