desperate diseases must have desperate remedies

The proverb is found in many variant forms. Cf. L. extremis malis extrema remedia, extreme remedies for extreme ills.

1539 R. TAVERNER tr. Erasmus’ Adages 4 A stronge disease requyreth a stronge medicine.

1600–1 SHAKESPEARE Hamlet IV. iii. 9 Diseases desperate grown By desperate appliance are reliev’d, Or not at all.

1639 J. CLARKE Parœmiologia Anglo-Latina 200 Desperate cuts must have desperate cures.

1659 J. RUSHWORTH Hist. Collections 1.120 According to the usual Proverb, A desperate disease must have a desperate remedy.

1748 RICHARDSON Clarissa VI. 292 I must..have an interview with the charmer of my Soul: For desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.

1935 ‘A. WYNNE’ Toll House Murder ix. These circumstances are wholly exceptional. Desperate diseases, they say, call for desperate remedies.

1961 ‘A. GILBERT’ She shall Die xi. She’d have sold the roof over her head sooner than have you know. Desperate situations require desperate remedies.

2001 W. NORTHCUTT Darwin Awards II 2 Desperate times call for desperate measures, which are often sensible when you consider the bleak alternative.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • desperate diseases must have desperate remedies — ► desperate diseases must have desperate remedies proverb extreme measures are justified as a response to a difficult or dangerous situation. Main Entry: ↑desperate …   English terms dictionary

  • desperate diseases must have desperate remedies — proverb extreme measures are justified as a response to a difficult or dangerous situation …   Useful english dictionary

  • desperate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) feeling, showing, or involving despair. 2) extremely bad or serious: a desperate shortage. 3) having a great need or desire for something: desperate for a cigarette. 4) violent or dangerous. ● desperate diseases must have desperate …   English terms dictionary

  • desperate — see desperate diseases must have desperate remedies …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • desperately — desperate ► ADJECTIVE 1) feeling, showing, or involving despair. 2) extremely bad or serious: a desperate shortage. 3) having a great need or desire for something: desperate for a cigarette. 4) violent or dangerous. ● desperate diseases must have …   English terms dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • disease — see desperate diseases must have desperate remedies …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • remedy — see there is a remedy for everything except death desperate diseases must have desperate remedies …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • situation — see desperate diseases must have desperate remedies …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • United Kingdom — a kingdom in NW Europe, consisting of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: formerly comprising Great Britain and Ireland 1801 1922. 58,610,182; 94,242 sq. mi. (244,100 sq. km). Cap.: London. Abbr.: U.K. Official name, United Kingdom of Great… …   Universalium


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