Learn 20 Expressions Related to Hardship

Life is filled with ups and downs, and language reflects this journey through a variety of expressions that describe the tougher times. Whether it’s personal challenges, professional setbacks, or emotional struggles, certain phrases help us articulate these experiences. This post explores 20 expressions related to hardship, each offering a glimpse into the difficulties we face and the resilience we muster. These idiomatic expressions not only enrich our vocabulary but also offer solace by putting into words what we often feel during hard times.

Expressions Related to Hardship

1. Against the odds

Meaning: To succeed despite very low probability.

Example: She succeeded against the odds.

2. Back to the wall

Meaning: In a bad or desperate situation.

Example: With his back to the wall, he had to innovate.

3. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: To work late into the night.

Example: We burned the midnight oil to meet the deadline.

4. Carry the weight of the world on one’s shoulders

Meaning: To feel extreme stress or pressure.

Example: He’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

5. Climb a mountain

Meaning: To undertake a difficult task.

Example: Completing this project is like climbing a mountain.

6. Come hell or high water

Meaning: No matter what happens or how difficult it becomes.

Example: I’ll be there, come hell or high water.

7. Down and out

Meaning: Without money, luck, or opportunities.

Example: He felt down and out after losing his job.

8. Fight an uphill battle

Meaning: To try to achieve something that is very difficult.

Example: She’s fighting an uphill battle for justice.

9. Go through the mill

Meaning: To experience difficult or painful times.

Example: He really went through the mill last year.

10. In dire straits

Meaning: In a very serious or difficult situation.

Example: The company was in dire straits financially.

11. Keep the wolf from the door

Meaning: To have just enough money to avoid going hungry or falling into poverty.

Example: His new job helped keep the wolf from the door.

12. Make ends meet

Meaning: To barely have enough money to cover expenses.

Example: They’re just making ends meet with the current budget.

13. On thin ice

Meaning: In a risky or uncertain situation.

Example: He’s on thin ice with his supervisor.

14. Out of the frying pan into the fire

Meaning: From a bad situation to one that is worse.

Example: Leaving that job turned out to be out of the frying pan into the fire.

15. Ride out the storm

Meaning: To survive through a difficult period.

Example: We just need to ride out the storm.

16. Rock the boat

Meaning: To cause trouble in a stable situation.

Example: He doesn’t want to rock the boat before the elections.

17. Sink or swim

Meaning: To fail or succeed entirely by one’s own efforts.

Example: It was a sink or swim moment in his career.

18. The last straw

Meaning: The final problem in a series of problems.

Example: That mistake was the last straw for the manager.

19. Weather the storm

Meaning: To withstand a difficult period.

Example: They managed to weather the storm of the financial crisis.

20. When push comes to shove

Meaning: When things get critical and action is needed.

Example: When push comes to shove, we’ll have to make tough decisions.Expressions Related to Hardship