On one’s last legs

On one’s last legs is an idiom that is over 400 years old. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom on one’s last legs, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

On one’s last legs means something is ending; it may mean that a person is near death or is so exhausted than he cannot continue. A thing may be described as being on its last legs when it will no longer function or is near collapse. The idea is that the strength in one’s legs is about to give out; there is no more strength left. The expression on one’s last legs was used as early as 1599 in the play, The Old Law.

Examples

Clearly, Freeman is on his last legs as a Bronco but the question is, does he make it through the season or will he be a camp casualty? (Sports Illustrated)

“By the time I get to a weekend, I’m finished, I’m on my last legs.” (The Jewish Chronicle

The Caribbean remains a stronghold for BlackBerry and any suggestion that the Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company is on its last legs is false. (Nation News Barbados)