The title is kinda self-explanatory, but what I'm looking for is a one single word describing your desperate need/desire to find the solution of your problem/situation.

I'm writing a story where a character is cheated out of his price and I try to describe how he felt:

“But I… But he…!” stuttered Adam, a third bewildered, a third furious and a third [insert word here].

He feels cheated, confused and angry by what had just happen, but are desperately looking for a way he perhaps won or finding a way to dismiss whatever foul play he had been subjugated by, and I want to sum it up into one word that would match the sentence above.

I'm mot even sure that what I look for exist, but I have this gnawing sensation in the back of my neck that makes me suspect that it just might.

  • Is he clutching at straws?
    – JHCL
    Oct 20, 2015 at 13:00
  • Is he what at what??? Oct 20, 2015 at 13:08
  • Clutching at straws.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 20, 2015 at 13:10
  • I might be missing something here, but no, he is not to my knowledge "clutching at straws" Oct 20, 2015 at 13:15
  • @PotatoesAndPears - in that case, might he be grasping at straws?
    – JHCL
    Oct 20, 2015 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


"Grasping/clutching at straws" was about exactly what I was looking for! http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/clutch-grasp-at-straws?q=clutch%2Fgrasp+at+straws

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