Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms related to Circumstances

drastic times call for drastic measures

drastic times call for drastic measures

also desperate times call for desperate measures

Meaning:

  • extreme circumstances can only be resolved by equally extreme actions
  • in difficult situations, it is necessary to take drastic actions
  • when you are extremely desperate, you need to take equally extreme actions
  • undesirable circumstances have to be countered by drastic actions

Example:

  1. After the company had posted losses for the third consecutive year, the board decided to replace all of its top management. After all, drastic times call for drastic measures.
  2. After suffering heavily in yet another stealth attack, the military decided to go for a full blown war. Drastic times call for drastic measures!
  3. After the third flood in as many months, the local government decided to evacuate the area and resettle the inhabitants elsewhere. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
  4. When the prolonged recession forced him to shut down his business, Dev decided to sell groceries to make ends meet. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Origin:
This phrase is actually derived from the saying of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, that appear in his Aphorisms: “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable”, or “Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies”

play it by ear

play it by ear

Meaning:

  • improvise
  • act without preparation
  • to let things go as they may
  • determined on the circumstances
  • according to the demand of the situation

Examples:

  1. Rather than adopting a new academic strategy, the principal decided to play it by ear.
  2. I don’t know what I will do when she will come in front of me. Let’s just play it by ear.
  3. I am not sure whether my plan will work or not, so let just play it by ear.
  4. Jane said that she has to play it by ear because she is not sure where to go tomorrow morning.
  5. It’s hard to know how the situation will develop. Let’s just play it by ear.
  6. We can play it by ear and decide where to meet later.
  7. Question: Hey, Bob are you coming to play the baseball this Sunday?
    Answer: I am not sure Nobita, let’s play it by ear.

Origin:
Mid-1900s

See also: play by ear

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