- done finally in desperation to avoid defeat, failure, disaster, etc.: a last-ditch attempt to avert war.
- fought with every resource at one's command: a last-ditch battle for the pennant.
Origin of last-ditch
Examples from the Web for last-ditch
Her husband, Ethan (Mark Duplass), books them a vacation retreat in a last-ditch effort to repair their relationship.Is Elisabeth Moss the One 'True Detective' Loves? She Doesn't Deny It.
August 12, 2014
For women spending upwards of $10,000 in a last-ditch effort to have a baby, such a reduction in chances can be devastating.The Crumbling Post-35 Pregnancy Myth
June 29, 2014
Both are last-ditch measures to disrupt a missile engagement, not to prevent tracking.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Hide From Russian Radar
April 28, 2014
First, that the regime might use them against rebels or civilians in a last-ditch act of desperation.What To Do In Syria
June 28, 2013
Put aside the last-ditch defense of the Bush tax rates for the few.Robert Shrum: Obama Won Election & Will Win Again on Fiscal Cliff
December 7, 2012
He's been the people's Golden Boy, their last-ditch hope for peace.Bear Trap
Alan Edward Nourse
The valorous retreat of the French and their last-ditch stand on the Marne compelled admiration.Woodrow Wilson and the World War
I knew then that he had already bought forty thousand, and that this was the last-ditch stand.Friday, the Thirteenth
Thomas W. Lawson
All those dying, suffering, last-ditch men lying around, and the two worn-out doctors hurrying among 'em—they didn't care.
They were, however, potentially so capable of making things worse that they would not be tried save as last-ditch measures.The Vortex Blaster
Edward Elmer Smith
- (modifier) made or done as a last desperate attempt or effort in the face of opposition
Word Origin and History for last-ditch
"on the last line of defense," 1715, attributed to William of Orange; if so, originally in a Dutch context.
We have no space to enter into the detail of the heroic struggle maintained by the young stadtholder and his faithful Dutchmen; how they laid their country under water, and successfully kept the powerful invader at bay. Once the contest seemed utterly hopeless. William was advised to compromise the matter, and yield up Holland as the conquest of Louis XIV. "No," replied he; "I mean to die in the last ditch." A speech alone sufficient to render his memory immortal. [Agnes Strickland, "Lives of the Queens of England," London, 1847]