at the last minute

at the last minute

At the last possible instant or opportunity. I know they've been squabbling for weeks, but I think they'll reach an agreement at the last minute. Yeah, Stu made some vacation plans at the last minute, so he is going to be out of the office next week.
See also: last, minute

at the last minute

Fig. at the last possible chance; in the last few minutes, hours, or days. (Often an exaggeration.) Please don't make reservations at the last minute. Why do you ask all your questions at the last minute?
See also: last, minute

at the last minute

At the latest possible moment or opportunity. For example, Jim couldn't get a reservation because he had called at the last minute. Also see at the latest; eleventh hour.
See also: last, minute

at the last ˈminute/ˈmoment

as late as possible; almost too late: Why do you always have to arrive at the last moment? ▶ ˌlast-ˈminute adj.: last-minute changes of plan, decisions, preparations, etc.
See also: last, minute, moment
References in classic literature ?
His punctuality is well known; he never arrives too soon, or too late; and I should not be surprised if he appeared before us at the last minute.
take this gentleman's luggage -- Dover line twelve o'clock train -- that's it," and without waiting for another word Jerry wheeled me round to make room for other cabs that were dashing up at the last minute, and drew up on one side till the crush was past.
It was hard getting into my dress alone, and I hadn't time to eat but a mouthful, and just at the last minute, when I honestly--HONESTLY --would have thought about clearing away and locking up, I looked at the clock and knew I could hardly get back to school in time to form in the line; and I thought how dreadful it would be to go in late and get my first black mark on a Friday afternoon, with the minister's wife and the doctor's wife and the school committee all there
Kala Nag had no tusks; the chain was the badge of his authority; but for all that, he swung wide of Moti Guj at the last minute, and tried to appear as if he had brought the chain out for amusement.
And at the last minute she left a message for him, to be transmitted by Tarzan of the Apes.
It's because it warn't INTENDED for any of us to come but Tom," he says; "but I begged and begged, and at the last minute she let me come, too; so, com- ing down the river, me and Tom thought it would be a first-rate surprise for him to come here to the house first, and for me to by and by tag along and drop in, and let on to be a stranger.
At the last minute, when the social machine was clogged hopelessly, one member or other of the family poured in a drop of oil.
At the last minute I saw the great blades move to reverse her, yet on she came as though drawn by some mighty, irresistible power.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of the year, but making Thanksgiving and Christmas travel arrangements can bring about a ton of stress, especially when planning trips at the last minute.
NOTE: Consumers who indicated they'd ever booked a last minute room on New Year's Eve were not required to choose a single reason for booking a New Year's Eve hotel room at the last minute via mobile.
This issue brings to mind the title of American writer Grace Paley's brilliant short story collection, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.
For example, if you're not happy with a printing, you can cancel the mailing at the last minute, taking the money out that you had for the aborted mailing.
About half of those surveyed by Visa Debit cards said searching for the right presents at the last minute will increase the pressure they already feel at Christmas.
This software release introduces significant features including calendar-based shift posting, expanded profiling capabilities that allow organizations to identify employees with the highest probability of working a shift at the last minute, and a new graphical user interface.
But Gallegly made the issue one of public concern when he cited vague health problems as his reason for withdrawing from his re-election campaign Friday at the last minute.