burn the candle at both ends


Also found in: Dictionary.

burn the candle at both ends

Fig. to work very hard and stay up very late at night. (One end of the candle is work done in the daylight, and the other end is work done at night.) No wonder Mary is ill. She has been burning the candle at both ends for a long time. You'll wear out if you keep burning the candle at both ends.
See also: both, burn, candle, end

burn the candle at both ends

to regularly stay awake late and get up early because you are too busy I'm busy trying to get ready for the holidays and burning the candle at both ends.
See also: both, burn, candle, end

burn the candle at both ends

to get little sleep or rest because you are busy until late every night and you get up early every morning (usually in continuous tenses) She'd been burning the candle at both ends studying for her exams and made herself ill.
See also: both, burn, candle, end

burn the candle at both ends

Exhaust one's energies or resources by leading a hectic life. For example, Joseph's been burning the candle at both ends for weeks, working two jobs during the week and a third on weekends . This metaphor originated in France and was translated into English in Randle Cotgrave's Dictionary (1611), where it referred to dissipating one's wealth. It soon acquired its present broader meaning.
See also: both, burn, candle, end

burn the candle at both ends

Extreme effort without time to rest. The phrase, which came originally from a French expression, came to mean working so hard that you burn yourself out. In addition, because candles were once an expensive item, to burn one at both ends implied wasting valuable resources to achieve an obsession. The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay used the image in her verse: My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light
See also: both, burn, candle, end
References in periodicals archive ?
She's a typical teenager and wants to burn the candle at both ends,'' said her mother, Teresa.
Gavin henson was yesterday warned by a rugby legend 'Don't burn the candle at both ends and ruin your career.
When Cerys could still burn the candle at both ends without the need for clinical help and Kelly Jones was the NME cover king.
The major target is likely to be young men with active lifestyles--particularly those who burn the candle at both ends.
They're instantly slimming and you will definitely want to burn the candle at both ends in them.
While it may simply be part of Thompson's fiber to burn the candle at both ends, others fall into parallel careers more by accident than by design.
The entertainment industry is known for creating a working environment in which many of its players burn the candle at both ends.
That may seem pretty obvious - they only put a wick on one end of a candle after all - but you really can't burn the candle at both ends if you're looking to get the most out of an Open at St Andrews.
The only thing that bothers the ex-telly star is the fact she can no longer burn the candle at both ends.
However, in our stressful modern lifestyles, where we tend to burn the candle at both ends and have a multitude of pressures, it's easy to get run down.
I have had a bit of a reputation in the past but I am no longer going to burn the candle at both ends.
Tuesday's child is Taurus with the Moon also in Taurus, suggesting a personality who becomes all absorbed in a project and can sometimes burn the candle at both ends.
When you burn the candle at both ends like Sara, you need something to get you out of bed and into gear.
When you start from scratch, you've got to be ready to burn the candle at both ends.
You can burn the candle at both ends when you're touring.