Last-Ditch (effort, attempt)

Meaning of the Idiom ‘Last-Ditch’

A last-ditch effort or attempt is a final desperate attempt to achieve something before giving up for good or ultimately failing. See also the last resort.

Examples Of Use

“In the final seconds of the game, Jordan made a last ditch effort to score from half-court.”

“In a last-ditch attempt to pass the upcoming final exam, the student studied all night.”

“The doctors were successful in their last-ditch effort to save the patient by performing a dangerous open heart surgery.”


This idiom is an allusion to the military sense of last ditch, which means “the last line of defense.” To “die in the last ditch” was to fight until the very end or until one’s death. It has been used figuratively since the early 1800’s.

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