on the eve of

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on the eve of something

Fig. just before something, possibly the evening before something. John decided to leave school on the eve of his graduation. The team held a party on the eve of the tournament.
See also: of, on

on the eve of

Just prior to, as in On the eve of the conference the main speaker backed out. This expression uses eve, literally "the night before," more loosely. [Late 1700s]
See also: of, on
References in classic literature ?
It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago.
Oh, he won't come home before New Year's Eve, perhaps," said Godfrey; "and I shall sit by Nancy then, and dance with her, and get a kind look from her in spite of herself.
Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht EVE, Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth, By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land In order, though to Nations yet unborn, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Least total darkness should by Night regaine Her old possession, and extinguish life In Nature and all things, which these soft fires Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate Of various influence foment and warme, Temper or nourish, or in part shed down Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow On Earth, made hereby apter to receive Perfection from the Suns more potent Ray.
Here in close recess With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs Espoused EVE deckt first her Nuptial Bed, And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung, What day the genial Angel to our Sire Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd, More lovely then PANDORA, whom the Gods Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like In sad event, when to the unwiser Son Of JAPHET brought by HERMES, she ensnar'd Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'd On him who had stole JOVES authentic fire.
The Lord and Lady of the May, though their titles must be laid down at sunset, were really and truly to be partners for the dance of life, beginning the measure that same bright eve.
HIGH on a mountain of enamell'd head - Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed Of giant pasturage lying at his ease, Raising his heavy eyelid, starts and sees With many a mutter'd "hope to be forgiven" What time the moon is quadrated in Heaven - Of rosy head, that towering far away Into the sunlit ether, caught the ray Of sunken suns at eve - at noon of night, While the moon danc'd with the fair stranger light - Uprear'd upon such height arose a pile Of gorgeous columns on th' unburthen'd air, Flashing from Parian marble that twin smile Far down upon the wave that sparkled there, And nursled the young mountain in its lair.
She seem'd not thus upon that autumn eve I left her gorgeous halls - nor mourn'd to leave.
Ben and Letty Garth, who were uncle and aunt before they were well in their teens, disputed much as to whether nephews or nieces were more desirable; Ben contending that it was clear girls were good for less than boys, else they would not be always in petticoats, which showed how little they were meant for; whereupon Letty, who argued much from books, got angry in replying that God made coats of skins for both Adam and Eve alike--also it occurred to her that in the East the men too wore petticoats.
I know not, young sir; but I can only say that on the eve of Cadsand, and on the eve of Crecy, and on the eve of Nogent, I dreamed of a red cow; and now the dream has come upon me again, so I am now setting a very keen edge to my blade.
Caedmon next tells how the fiend tempted first the man and then the woman with guileful lies to eat of the fruit which had been forbidden to them, and how Eve yielded to him.
And thus, urged by Eve, Adam too ate of the forbidden fruit, and the man and woman were driven out of the Happy Garden, and the curse fell upon them because of their disobedience.
Just think," said Cecily, "last New Year's Eve we were wondering what would happen this year; and what a lot of things have happened that we never expected.
Eve the iron-framed Gauchos professed themselves glad whe they reached the settlement, after our little excursion
The blocks ar not waterworn, their angles being only a little blunted; the vary in size from one or two feet in diameter to ten, or eve more than twenty times as much.
Weller,' replied Emma; 'we always have on Christmas Eve.