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in a bind

Slang definitions & phrases for in a bind

in a bind

adjective phrase

In a very tight and awkward situation; stalled by a dilemma; in a box: I'm in a bind, damned if I do and damned if I don't

[1940s+ Loggers; fr the situation of a logger whose saw is caught and held tight by the weight of a tree or branch]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with in a bind

in a bind

Also, in a box or hole or jam or tight corner or tight spot . In a difficult, threatening, or embarrassing position; also, unable to solve a dilemma. For example, He's put us in a bind: we can't refuse, but at the same time we can't fill the order , or Jim's in a box; he can't afford to pay what he owes us , or He quit without giving notice and now we're really in a hole , or We always end up in a jam during the holiday season , or He's in a tight corner with those new customers , or We'll be in a tight spot unless we can find another thousand dollars . All these colloquial terms allude to places from which one can't easily extricate oneself. The phrase using bind was first recorded in 1851; box , 1865; jam , 1914; tight spot , 1852. Also see in a fix
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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