entre le marteau et l'enclume

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French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɑ̃.tʁə l(ə) maʁ.to e l‿ɑ̃.klym/

Adverb[edit]

entre le marteau et l'enclume

  1. (literally) between the hammer and the anvil
  2. (by extension, idiomatic) between a rock and a hard place; between the devil and the deep blue sea

Usage notes[edit]

In the idiomatic sense loosely identical to “be in a bad situation”; not as strong as between a rock and a hard place and it doesn't catch the idea of being forced to take into account antagonist interests (the “hammer” and the “anvil”). When a decision is hard to make between one or the opposite one, neither of them being ideal.

Synonyms[edit]