when the chips are down definition, meaning - what is when the chips are down in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “when the chips are down”

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when the chips are down

informal
when you are in a very difficult or dangerous situation, especially one that makes you understand the true value of people or things: One day when the chips are down, you will know who your true friends are.
(Definition of when the chips are down from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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