when the chips are down

idiom

Definition of when the chips are down

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

Learn More about when the chips are down

Statistics for when the chips are down

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 6 Jul. 2020.

Comments on when the chips are down

What made you want to look up when the chips are down? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!