10


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10 Downing Street

The address of the residence of the prime minister of the United Kingdom, used by extension to refer to the prime minister or the current UK government. Primarily heard in UK. Swift condemnation of the attack has come from 10 Downing Street, the White House, and the Kremlin.
See also: 10, Down, street

count to ten

To take a moment to calm down, especially when angry, before doing anything rash or hasty. Used as an imperative, it can but doesn't necessarily mean to literally count to the number ten. I know your boss said some unfair things about you, but just go count to ten so you don't end up saying something that gets you fired.
See also: count, ten

handbags at ten paces

A confrontation or disagreement that is highly aggressive, emotionally expressive, and/or highly dramatic, but which does not end or result in violence. Used originally and primarily in reference to football (soccer) players, who would be sent off if they engaged in violent actions, the phrase is a play on the clichéd "pistols at ten paces," indicating a forthcoming pistol duel. Primarily heard in UK. It was handbags at ten paces between the two players, who had been verbally taunting one another throughout the match.
See also: handbag, pace, ten

Number Ten

The address of the residence of the prime minister of the United Kingdom (10 Downing Street), used by extension to refer to the prime minister or the current UK government. Swift condemnation of the attack has come from Number Ten, with the prime minister vowing retribution. There are a huge number of people working at Number 10 who never receive the praise or scorn that is often directed solely at the prime minister.
See also: number, ten

(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)

A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) before the named hour in time (e.g., "quarter of six" would mean 5:45). Primarily heard in US. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter of eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter of before I'm back.
See also: given, hour, of, quarter

quarter past (a given hour in time)

A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) after the named hour in time. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter past eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter past before I'm back.
See also: given, hour, past, quarter

ten to the dozen

Very rapidly, hurriedly, and/or energetically. My aunt can get talking ten to the dozen if you get her on a topic she's passionate about. Samson came running ten to the dozen when he heard his son crying out to him from the back garden.
See also: dozen, ten

take ten

To take a short break, about ten minutes. I've been painting all morning, can I please take ten? All right, fellas, take ten.
See also: take, ten

not touch (someone or something) with a ten-foot pole

To not do or be involved with something at all; to refuse to get close to something. Although his twin brother absolutely loves sushi, Bobby will not touch it with a 10-foot pole.
See also: not, pole, touch

be ten a penny

To be very common, ordinary, or widespread. At first they were quite novel and interesting, but now these little organic cafés are getting to be ten a penny. Trashy crime novels like his are ten a penny, but at least he's doing what he loves.
See also: penny, ten

I wouldn't touch (someone or something) with a ten-foot pole

I do not want to become in any way involved in or with something or someone. Get that cocaine away from me, I wouldn't touch that junk with a ten-foot pole! You might think John is attractive, but I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. He seems like a creep.
See also: pole, touch

nine times out of ten

Almost every time. Nine times out of ten, I can count on getting stopped at this red light. A: "Do people always pay extra to get the combo meal?" B: "Nine times out of ten."
See also: nine, of, out, ten, times

possession is nine-tenths of the law

Having the actual ownership or custody of something is legally stronger than simply claiming it belongs to you. She's arguing that the antique stopwatch rightfully belongs to her, but possession is nine-tenths of the law.
See also: law, of, possession

nine times out of ten

Fig. usually; almost always. Nine times out often people will choose coffee rather than tea.
See also: nine, of, out, ten, times

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Prov. If you actually possess something, you have a stronger legal claim to owning it than someone who merely says it belongs to him or her. Dana may say he owns this house, but we actually live in it, and possession is nine-tenths of the law.
See also: law, of, possession

count to ten

Calm down, get hold of oneself. For example, Before you tell him what you think of him, count to ten. Often used as an imperative, this phrase in effect means that if one takes the time to count from one to ten one can regain one's composure.
See also: count, ten

count to ten

count to ten under your breath in order to prevent yourself from reacting angrily to something.
See also: count, ten

nine times out of ten

on nearly every occasion.
See also: nine, of, out, ten, times

ˌnine times out of ˈten

(also ˌninety-nine ˌtimes out of a ˈhundred) almost always: Nine times out of ten our opponents will beat us. We just hope this is the one in ten.Ninety-nine times out of a hundred she’s right about people but this time she was wrong.
See also: nine, of, out, ten, times

possession is nine points/tenths/parts of the ˈlaw

(saying) if you already have or control something, it is difficult for somebody else to take it away from you, even if they have the legal right to it
See also: law, nine, of, part, point, possession, tenth

ten-four

and 10-4
interj. okay. (Citizens band radio.) Ten-four, old buddy. I will do that.

10-4

verb

possession is nine-tenths of the law

Custody presumes ownership. The basis of this legal maxim that comes down from the 17th-century is the commonsense observation that if you have control of something, chances are better than average that it's yours. Lawyers term it a rebuttable presumption: ownership is recognized unless disproved by someone holding a more valid claim. The phrase started life as “possession is nine points of the law,” which referred to possession's satisfying nine out of eleven factors that constituted absolute ownership. However, “nine-tenths” entered popular usage to reflect the idea that custody is 90 percent of legal ownership.
See also: law, of, possession