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last resort

A final expedient or recourse to achieve some end or settle a difficulty. For example, If you don't improve, we'll try this new medication as a last resort. This term originally referred to a court of law from which there was no appeal. [Late 1600s]

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

Examples from the Web for last resort

Historical Examples

  • From her bed she gave her orders—desperate, last-resort orders to a defeated garrison.

    Home Fires in France

    Dorothy Canfield

  • That is the last resort, as it robs us of our only safeguard against meteorites, but this is the time for last-resort measures.

    The Skylark of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

  • The contortions of the trainmaster's homely features indicated an inward struggle of the last-resort nature.