burn the midnight oil

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Related to burning the midnight oil: burning the candle at both ends, burnt the midnight oil

burn the midnight oil

To stay up late working on a project or task. The phrase refers to the outdated practice of using an oil lamp. Denise has been burning the midnight oil trying to finish this report, so she must be exhausted. I'll need to burn the midnight oil to have any chance of finishing this paper before class tomorrow morning.
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight oil

Fig. to stay up working, especially studying, late at night. (Alludes to working by the light of an oil lamp late in the night.) I have a big exam tomorrow so I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight. If you burn the midnight oil night after night, you'll probably become ill.
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight oil

Stay up late working or studying, as in The semester is almost over and we're all burning the midnight oil before exams. This expression alludes to the oil in oil lamps. [Early 1600s]
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight oil

If you burn the midnight oil, you stay up very late at night in order to finish a piece of work. He's been burning the midnight oil getting his article written. The truth is, I haven't been sleeping all that much lately. Burning the midnight oil. Note: The image here is of someone working late into the night by the light of an oil lamp.
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight oil

read or work late into the night.
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight ˈoil

work or study until very late at night: Before my exams, I was burning the midnight oil every night.
See also: burn, midnight, oil

burn the midnight oil

To work or study very late at night.
See also: burn, midnight, oil
References in periodicals archive ?
He has to learn that spending his evening on the phone isn't on - it's anti-social to you, he is abusing your generosity as a father, and he is burning the midnight oil to catch up on his work.
Adidas are burning the midnight oil in their South Africa HQ apparently in an effort to kit out the Lions with fresh gear.
Additionally, today's road warriors are burning the midnight oil, getting less sleep on the road compared to when at home.
Given that the stakes are so high, it comes as no surprise that entrepreneurs are burning the midnight oil to make a success of their business.
MANY owners of small firms in the Midlands are burning the midnight oil, spending more than 50 hours in the office every week.
He emailed to say: "I hope your reporters got a nice lie-in, the day after your elections, as they must have been burning the midnight oil for you to get the last-minute midnight deal in time.
This city of authors, journos and hacks Burning the midnight oil Unearthing moles, exposing the quacks Bringing their blood to the boil
I'm burning the midnight oil searching for the right players.
That investment is now beginning to pay dividends and the days of burning the midnight oil are dwindling.
They are burning the midnight oil to come up with a new form of words to persuade waverers in France, China and Russia that force will be needed against Saddam Hussein's regime.
EVEN the most patriotic of Englishmen will not be staying up through the night to see how our curling team get on in the Winter Olympics, but it is surely worth burning the midnight oil to watch our resurgent cricketers in New Zealand, writes Steve Palmer.
MARATHON man Sean Lanigan was burning the midnight oil in Malvern last night before completing a gruelling 5-4 victory in the Benson and Hedges Snooker Championship.
SOAP star Matt Marsden is burning the midnight oil in his multi-million pound bid to storm the pop charts.
The situation can be an emotional minefield and lead to counterproductive rows with somewhat reluctant students or - at the other end the scale - worry if conscientious youngsters are obsessively burning the midnight oil still bent over books.