all hands on deck


Also found in: Acronyms.

all hands on deck

1. A call for all members of a ship's crew to come to the deck, usually in a time of crisis. (A "hand" is a member of a ship's crew.) We're under attack! All hands on deck!
2. By extension, everyone available to help with a problem, or a call for those people to help. Your grandmother arrives tomorrow and the house is still a mess—I need all hands on deck to help me clean! All hands on deck! We've got to roll out this tarp before the rain starts. Now let's go!
See also: all, deck, hand, on

all hands on deck

mainly BRITISH
If a situation requires all hands on deck, it needs everyone to work hard to achieve an aim or do a task. Come on then, boys, all hands on deck tonight, we need all the help we can get. Your job was so big that we needed all hands on deck. Note: Members of a ship's crew are sometimes called hands and `deck' refers to the floor of a ship.
See also: all, deck, hand, on