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by the thousands
In huge quantities, presumably numbering several thousand. When the potato famine hit Ireland, the Irish began emigrating—especially to America—by the thousands.
See also: thousand
by the thousand
In huge quantities, presumably numbering several thousand. When the potato famine hit Ireland, the Irish began emigrating by the thousand.
See also: thousand
a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
A daunting task can usually be started by doing a simple thing. I'm feeling really overwhelmed about my research project, but I have to start somewhere, since a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
a picture paints a thousand words
A picture can express something more clearly or succinctly than words can. I know I'm doing a bad job of capturing the scene by describing it, so look here—a picture paints a thousand words, doesn't it?
bat a thousand
1. In baseball, to get a hit every time one is at bat (resulting in a batting average of 1.000). The slugger is still batting a thousand after a record eight at-bats.
2. By extension, to be successful in an endeavor or in multiple areas of one's life. I'm really batting a thousand this week—I got an A on my exam, I got the lead in the school play, and I won the poetry contest!
by the dozen
in groups of 12. (Compare this with by the dozens.) Eggs are normally sold by the dozen.
if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times
Fig. an expression that introduces a scolding, usually to a child. Mother: If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, don't leave your clothes in a pile on the floor! Bill: Sorry. "If I've toldyou once, I've told you a thousand times, keep out of my study!" yelled Bob.
No, no, a thousand times no!
Fig. Very definitely, no! (Jocular.) Bob: Here, have some sweet potatoes. Bill: No, thanks. Bob: Oh, come on! Bill: No, no, a thousand times no! Sue: The water is a little cold, but it's invigorating. Come on in. Bill: How cold? Sue: Well, just above freezing, I guess. Come on in! Bill: No, no, a thousand times no!
Not in a thousand years! and Never in a thousand years!
Fig. No, never! John: Will you ever approve of her marriage to Tom? Sue: No, not in a thousand years! Mary: Will all this trouble ever subside? John: Never in a thousand years!
one in a thousandand one in a hundred; one in a million
Fig. nearly unique; one of a very few. He's a great guy. He's one in million. Mary's one in a hundred—such a hard worker.
picture is worth a thousand words
Prov. Pictures convey information more efficiently and effectively than words do. It's much easier to learn how machines work by looking at pictures, rather than by hearing someone describe them. A picture is worth a thousand words. The newspaper editor decided to devote more space to photographs of the disaster than to text, since a picture is worth a thousand words.
by the dozen
in large numbers He would sit all day in the dark watching videos by the dozen.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of by the dozen (in groups of twelve)
be batting a thousand(American)
to do something extremely well and better than you had hoped to do it Gloria felt she was batting a thousand. She'd got everything she asked for when she saw her boss.See be on a sticky wicket
by the dozen
if something is being produced by the dozen, large numbers of that thing are being produced The government is producing new policies by the dozen.
the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question(informal) also the million-dollar question (informal)
an important or difficult question which people do not know the answer to So will she marry him or not? - that's the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question.See beg the question, call into question, pop the question
See also: question
bat one thousand
Have a perfect record, as in In meeting deadlines, she's batting one thousand. The term comes from baseball statistics, where it signifies getting a hit for every turn at bat. It was transferred to other activities in the 1920s.
by the dozen
Also, by the hundred or thousand . According to a definite quantity, as in She's buying tapes by the dozen. This usage is generally employed for some kind of rate. A 1950 film about efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth and his family was entitled Cheaper by the Dozen. [c. 1300]
one in a million
Also, one in a thousand or billion . Extraordinary, rare, as in She's the kindest soul-she's one in a million, or This ring is one in a thousand. All these terms are hyperbolic.
picture is worth a thousand words, one
A graphic illustration conveys a stronger message than words, as in The book jacket is a big selling point-one picture is worth a thousand words. This saying was invented by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard. To promote his agency's ads he took out an ad in Printer's Ink in 1921 with the headline "One Look Is Worth a Thousand Words" and attributed it to an ancient Japanese philosopher. Six years later he changed it to "Chinese Proverb: One Picture Is Worth Ten Thousand Words," illustrated with some Chinese characters. The attribution in both was invented; Barnard simply believed an Asian origin would give it more credibility.
if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times
phr. I know I have told you many, many times. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, don’t lean back in that chair.
Take it down a thou(sand)!
in. Cool down!; Calm down!; Quiet down! You are wild! Take it down a thou and let’s try again to talk this out.