in the nick of time


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Related to in the nick of time: for the time being, Take Time

*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 ?
Percy drew from many sources, of which the most important was a manuscript volume, in which an anonymous seventeenth century collector had copied a large number of old poems and which Percy rescued just in the nick of time, as the maids in the house of one of his friends were beginning to use it as kindling for the fires.
Andrews hadn't caught her by her sash just in the nick of time she'd fallen in and prob'ly been drowned.
But the man of the match was undoubtedly Dion O'Cuinneagain who stormed right back into his best form just in the nick of time before the Six Nations Championship begins in a fortnight.
In fact, when one considers the current stalemate in American figuration, between the genre-ridden indulgences of John Currin or Elizabeth Peyton, and the decorative ironies of Lari Pittman or Sue Williams, we can afford to borrow another cliche from the dustbin of American history and assure ourselves that, just like the US Cavalry, Dunham's most radical, challenging, and, in the end, satisfying paintings have arrived in the nick of time.