[ last-ditch, lahst- ]
/ ˈlæstˈdɪttʃ, ˈlɑst- /


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

First recorded in 1905–10; last1 + ditch
Related formslast-ditch·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for last-ditch

British Dictionary definitions for last-ditch



(modifier) made or done as a last desperate attempt or effort in the face of opposition
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

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper