1 of 2


: fought or conducted from the last ditch : waged with desperation or unyielding defiance
put up a last-ditch resistance
: made as a final effort especially to avert disaster
a last-ditch attempt to raise the money

last ditch

2 of 2


: a place of final defense or resort

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
After resisting union calls for direct talks with the government on pay for months, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opened the door in a last ditch effort to end the worst wave of industrial action the United Kingdom has seen for many years. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 9 Jan. 2023 Using a small lava cove as trap, a small number of bulls have learned to round up pelagic yellowfin tuna, driving them into shallow nooks, where the exhausted fish often leap ashore in a last ditch attempt to escape. Stephanie Stone, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2018 The Saints last ditch effort on a fourth and 17 at midfield was the perfect example. Michael Niziolek, cleveland, 18 Oct. 2022 Now, in a last ditch effort before an upcoming musical performance, the orchestra is asking for the public’s help tracking the papers down. Globe Staff,, 16 Nov. 2022 The ad comes as a last ditch effort with less than two weeks to go until Election Day. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Oct. 2022 There’s just one problem with the PAC-12 attempting expansion as a last ditch effort to survive, and it’s the fact the conference has very little leverage right now. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 31 Aug. 2022 As social media users sharing their sadness over the taco shaped treat, Alex Ohanian entrepreneur and husband to Serena Williams took to Twitter with a last ditch effort to save the taco. Ebony Williams, ajc, 26 July 2022 Richardson even flew to Moscow on the eve of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a last ditch effort to persuade Russia to make a trade. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, 9 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'last-ditch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of last-ditch was in 1706

Dictionary Entries Near last-ditch

last day


last ditch

Cite this Entry

“Last-ditch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

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