when the chips are down

idiom

informal
: in a difficult situation : when things are not good
True friends will stand by you when the chips are down.

Examples of when the chips are down in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s true of so few professional athletes, who either don’t want to or don’t care enough to stand in front of the cameras and recorders when the chips are down. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 3 Feb. 2024 The biggest test for any team is what happens when the chips are down. Fiona Simpson, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 But when the chips are down, many university presidents have folded. Laurence H. Silberman, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2022 That’s absurd, and make sure to remind everyone of this fact when the chips are down. David Meyer, Fortune, 7 July 2022 Trying to play the two sides against one another will likely antagonize both parties' vocal activists and leave business with no friends to defend it when the chips are down. Richard Galant, CNN, 24 Apr. 2022 If toughness and physical contact wasn’t a priority all season, good luck figuring out how to score when the chips are down. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2022 Your trustworthiness in tough times and reliability when the chips are down may enhance your ability to influence others. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 12 Aug. 2021 Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy isn’t alone in declining to double-team DeRozan when the chips are down. Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'when the chips are down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“When the chips are down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/when%20the%20chips%20are%20down. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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