in the nick of time

(redirected from in the nick)

*in the (very) nick of time

Fig. just in time; at the last possible instant; just before it's too late. (*Typically: arrive ~; get there ~; happen ~; reach something ~; Save someone ~.) The doctor arrived in the nick of time. The patient's life was saved. I reached the airport in the very nick of time and made my flight.
See also: nick, of, time

(just) in the nick of time

at the last possible moment A man walking his dog saw her fall into the river and pulled her out just in the nick of time.
See also: nick, of, time

in the nick of time

at the last possible moment
Usage notes: A nick was a mark on a stick which was used in the past to measure time.
We got there just in the nick of time. A minute later and she'd have left.
See also: nick, of, time

in the nick of time

Also, just in time. At the last moment, as in The police arrived in the nick of time, or He got there just in time for dinner. The first term began life as in the nick and dates from the 1500s, when nick meant "the critical moment" (a meaning now obsolete). The second employs just in the sense of "precisely" or "closely," a usage applied to time since the 1500s. Also see in time, def. 1.
See also: nick, of, time

in the nick of time

Just at the critical moment; just in time.
See also: nick, of, time
References in classic literature ?
I mean that this Indian comes just in the nick of time.
At his side fights a huge Martian war-hound, nor did I need a second look to know that it was Woola--my faithful Woola who had thus well performed his arduous task and brought the succoring legions in the nick of time.
The doctor came in the nick of time, and soon brought her to.
It came into my mind in the nick of time, how Columbus, or Cortez, or one of those people, played an eclipse as a saving trump once, on some savages, and I saw my chance.
She was horrified to think how near she had come to being guilty herself; she had been saved in the nick of time by a revival in the colored Methodist Church, a fortnight before, at which time and place she "got religion.
Our medical guide, philosopher, and friend is like the hero in a melodrama--he always comes upon the scene just, and only just, in the nick of time.
Fortunately for me, my father lost a lawsuit just in the nick of time, and was obliged to scrape together every farthing of available money that he possessed to pay for the luxury of going to law.
German Socialism forgot, in the nick of time, that the French criticism, whose silly echo it was, presupposed the existence of modern bourgeois society, with its corresponding economic conditions of existence, and the political constitution adapted thereto, the very things whose attainment was the object of the pending struggle in Germany.