the straw that broke the camel's back

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A small and seemingly insignificant addition to a burden that renders it too much to bear; the small thing which causes failure, or causes inability or unwillingness to endure any more of something.

Etymology:

  • Possibly from the proverb, recorded by Thomas Fuller in his Gnomologia as "Tis the last feather that breaks the horse's back." This comes from an Arab proverb about loading up a camel beyond its capacity to move.
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Submitted on September 01, 2009

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to the straw that broke the camel's back

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "the straw that broke the camel's back." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Jan. 2021. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/the-straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back_7431>.

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