1. confronted by something or in a difficult situation
be up against it/a deadline
To be 'up against' something can mean to be close to something or to be in contact with it. 'Up against' can also mean to be confronted with something unpleasant. If you are 'up against it' or 'up against' something it can also mean that you are in a difficult situation. This is a common expression in social and professional contexts and is similar in meaning to 'contending with' and 'facing difficulty'.