at the eleventh hour

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at the eleventh hour

At the last possible moment or opportunity. I was shocked that they reached an agreement at the eleventh hour after weeks of squabbling.
See also: eleventh, hour

at the eleventh hour

Fig. at the last possible moment. (Just before the last clock hour, 12) She always turned her term papers in at the eleventh hour. We don't worry about death until the eleventh hour.
See also: eleventh, hour

at the eleventh hour

COMMON If something happens at the eleventh hour, it happens at the last possible moment. Some of the exhibitions were cancelled at the eleventh hour. Then, at the eleventh hour, I had an accident that almost stopped me from entering the competition. Note: An eleventh hour decision or action is one that occurs at the last possible moment. This eleventh hour decision came as something of a surprise. The company has sold off 31 social clubs in an eleventh hour deal. Note: This expression comes from the Bible, where Jesus uses it in the story of the labourers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). In Jesus's time the hours were counted from dawn until dusk, with the twelfth hour bringing darkness, and so the eleventh hour was the last hour before dark.
See also: eleventh, hour

at the eleventh hour

at the latest possible moment.
This expression originally referred to Jesus's parable of the labourers hired right at the end of the day to work in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1–16).
See also: eleventh, hour

eleventh hour, at the

Just in time; at the last possible moment. This expression occurs in the biblical parable of the laborers (Matthew 20:1–16), in which those workers hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour day received as much pay as those who began work in the first hour. Eric Partridge claimed that the current cliché does not allude to this story but offered no alternative source. The American poet Forceythe Willson (1837–67) wrote, “And I heard a Bugle sounding, as from some celestial Tower; and the same mysterious voice said: ‘It is the Eleventh Hour!’” (“The Old Sergeant”). The armistice ending World War I came into force at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
See also: eleventh
References in periodicals archive ?
'It is a diplomatic debacle on India's part that despite formal agreements the talks, scheduled to be held in New York, have been cancelled at the 11th hour', he said.
Solicitor for some of the families Padraig O Muirigh said the development had come at the 11th hour.
According to the US Embassy, Veterans Day is celebrated annually in the US on November 11, the day that major hostilities of World War I formally ended with the signing of the Armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Past experience shows that there is generally a solution found, albeit at the 11th hour. My money would be on that happening in this situation.'
It's easy enough for all of us to fall silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Current doctor Matt Smith is topping the bill at The 11th Hour fan convention staged in the NEC Hilton Metropole Hotel this week.
But at the 11th hour, they decided to plead guilty after a judge indicated they would receive lesser sentences for admitting the plot.
ENGLAND were this morning hoping their 2018 World Cup bid had not been derailed at the 11th hour by the violence which erupted at the end of Birmingham's Carling Cup win over Aston Villa last night.
The agreement reached at the 11th hour wouldn't save one country, never mind the planet, and the main problem seems to be apathy.
The Dark Blues thought they were about to capture the Livingston pair after agreeing a pounds 75,000 deal last week but SPL new boys St Johnstone snatched them away at the 11th hour.
Six-time world champion Steve Davis has withdrawn from the Bahrain Snooker Championship at the 11th hour citing medical reasons for his no show in the Middle East.
Davis, whose team have won their first two games of the season, revealed he placed an offer to an American ace after three other deals fell through at the 11th hour.
"It is a challenge to maintain the balance between progress and being environmentally conscious, but this situation needs to be addressed today as we are at the 11th Hour. We need a new perspective regarding the issue of environmental degradation and events like The Blue Fair at Ibn Battuta Mall provide solutions that are effective, economically feasible and being implemented across the country," stated Marc Jones, Marketing Manager, Ibn Battuta Mall.The Blue Fair showcased eco-friendly initiatives by DEWA, ENOC, Emirates Diving Association, The Children's Garden, Al Boom Diving and Environment Friends Society, Imdaad to name a few.
A DRUID high priestess and other campaigners are celebrating after plans for a quarry were withdrawn at the 11th hour.
The two minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month recalls the moment the fighting stopped in one of the most brutal and bloody conflicts the world has ever seen.