be down to the wire

To be unresolved until the last possible second. Negotiations are down to the wire, and I'm worried we won't agree on a new contract by the deadline.
See also: down, to, wire

down to the wire

Until the last possible second. Negotiations went down to the wire, but we did in fact agree on a new contract by the deadline.
See also: down, to, wire
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


Fig. waiting until the very last moment; right up to the deadline. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) It came down-to-the-wire before I turned the proposal in. We went right down-to-the-wire on that one.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Bianca Pagdanganan and Jed Dy combined superbly in foursome, coming through with a two-under 66 and turning what was expected to be a fierce, down-to-the-wire finish into a runaway seven-shot triumph in the National Doubles Amateur Golf Championship at Camp Aguinaldo Golf Club.
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Wong became notorious for his down-to-the-wire dashes to the Croisette with "2046" and "In the Mood for Love," and last year, Malick kept fest officials waiting until the last minute before it became disappointingly clear that "The Tree of Life" would not be ready in time.
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If you believe the experts, this year's presidential election might look much like the 2000 election: a down-to-the-wire and somewhat unseemly affair.
After prolonged debate, intensive arm-twisting and down-to-the-wire compromises, Congress approved landmark legislation in late 1999 to overhaul the financial-services industry.
Bobby Houston's peripatetic lens captures it all: the down-to-the-wire prelaunch snafus, the "Will they make it to the starting gate?" tensions, the storms at sea, the smoldering personality conflicts, the stoically uttered nauticalspeak, the eleventh-hour challenges, the "Will they make it to the finish line?" tensions.
'Way to bounce back with this down-to-the-wire finish.'
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ALAN McMANUS squeezed through yet another down-to-the-wire finish in Shanghai yesterday and it can pay to stick with the master of brinkmanship against fellow Scot John Higgins today.