burn the candle at both ends

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burn the candle at both ends

To overwork or exhaust oneself by doing too many things, especially both late at night and early in the morning. Oh, Denise is definitely burning the candle at both ends—she's been getting to the office early and staying very late to work on some big project.
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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