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 ?
Clearly if the recent events stimulate Government financial intervention in this field, it will be in the old cliche the arrival of the cavalry at the eleventh hour.
At the eleventh hour, however, Virginia relented, but not before persuading ASMFC to consider an addendum, approved last April, allowing "transfer quotas."
The operation to give Hannah Pudsey, 12, a new heart was cancelled at the eleventh hour after it was found the donor organ had deteriorated.
"At the eleventh hour, following all-night negotiations, the owners and players finally agreed how to divide the bonanza that has made the players, who earn an average salary of $2.6 million per year, the highest-paid athletes in team sports."
Performing for the last time, Ichino was partnered by an injured Nixon, who at the eleventh hour had to reduce the demands of his role and rechoreograph some of his scenes (other dancers performed the lead roles in the remaining four performances).
It had originally scheduled the subject for the July 29 meeting of the Commission, the last before the Summer, but at the eleventh hour it was dropped.
In October, at the eleventh hour, Dan Lane received an invitation to the national AFL-CIO convention in New York.
The ticket was chucked away at the eleventh hour by the younger Wattoo.
Summary: President Michel Aoun has diffused a very explosive situation using his constitutional prerogatives, postponing a controversial parliamentary session at the eleventh hour.
AT the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month I went to the Gateshead Cenotaph for the customary Memorial Remembrance for all who died in the two World Wars and other conflicts.
INDIA coach Wim Koevermans's plan to make the national football team play as much FIFA friendlies as possible hit a roadblock on Thursday as the November 18 match against Yemen in Guwahati was cancelled at the eleventh hour.
But at the eleventh hour, the 52-year-old admitted the lesser charge of causing or allowing a vulnerable adult to die by failing to take steps to protect her mum, despite being aware of the risk of serious physical harm.
The Blues had hoped to add another Tongan to their squad but the arrangements fell through at the eleventh hour and the player concerned has now left the country.
Murphy stepped in at the eleventh hour on Saturday when Brown failed a late fitness test ahead of the WKD Intermediate Cup quarter-final at Limavady United.
He said: "At the eleventh hour, the president and prime minister decided that the venue would be the prime minister's house.