Idiom – Grasping At Straws
Grasping At Straws – Idiom of the Day
To struggle with desperate effort to save oneself
The etymology goes back to 1534 when this phrase was originally mentioned in Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation by Thomas More. This idiom was used to refer to a drowning man who was grasping for anything, even as small as a straw, to save himself. In the current world, it means a decision or an act, usually executed in desperation, without referring to an adequate amount of resources or information. This idiom can also be used in a situation when somebody is making a baseless argument. Also, in Australia and Britain, this phrase is commonly used as clutching at straws or catching at straws. While straws may float, they will not be able to bear the weight of somebody who is drowning. Thus, the idiom is referred to a futile attempt or a desperate situation.
Clutching at straws
Grasping at straws
Go through the examples to understand the usage of the idiom:
1. To save people stuck because of flood, the officials had to grasp at straws.
2. To justify her answers, Monica kept grasping at straws.
3. He was grasping at straws to save his job, despite being wrong in his actions.
4. To curb the crime problem, the police literally had to grasp at straws.
5. She kept grasping at straws to find sources that would support her outdated notions.
6. When asked the reasons behind his failed leadership, the manager started grasping at straws.