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English definition of “grasping at straws”

grasping at straws

trying to find some way to succeed when nothing you choose is likely to work: We searched all the backup tapes, trying to find the missing files, but we knew we were grasping at straws. trying to find a reason to feel hopeful in a bad situation: I knew my mother was dying, but I was grasping at straws and denying reality.
(Definition of grasping at straws from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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