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]

Nearby words

  1. last name,
  2. last of the mohicans, the,
  3. last out,
  4. last post,
  5. last quarter,
  6. last rites,
  7. last straw,
  8. last straw, the,
  9. last supper,
  10. last thing

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

  • 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.