eleventh hour

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the eleventh hour

The last possible moment or opportunity. Can be hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. I was shocked that they reached an agreement at the eleventh hour after weeks of squabbling. I was shocked that they reached an eleventh-hour decision after weeks of squabbling.
See also: eleventh, hour

eleventh hour

The latest possible time, as in We turned in our report at the eleventh hour. This term is thought to allude to the parable of the laborers (Matthew 20:1-16), in which those workers hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour working day were paid the same amount as those who began in the first hour. [Early 1800s]
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 ?
away from West Coast tycoon Jim Pattison with an eleventh hour bid.
In October, at the eleventh hour, Dan Lane received an invitation to the national AFL-CIO convention in New York.
Summary: President Michel Aoun has diffused a very explosive situation using his constitutional prerogatives, postponing a controversial parliamentary session at the eleventh hour.
SOLDIERS stand in a line before marching off in time Uniforms pristine and clean Blackened boots polished to a gleam Rifles clean ready at arms Thumbs straight by the seams Hats with their badge of honour Wear a red poppy at the eleventh hour Gallant Men Over the top marched the gallant men Into the bullet and shell They kept going through that bloody hell until they fell The smell of war the blood guts and gore Once more is the cry before you die The dead and wounded lie in a blood-soaked field The scars of war will never really heal.
In more recent times, the cross and much of the nearby Cathedral Green and its surroundings have been seen on our TV screens in a Dr Who episode called The Eleventh Hour.
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.
It will be at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year: a numerical combination that will not occur for another century.
One side shows the Remembrance poppy with the time and date of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in 1918, which saw the signing of the armistice after the Great War.
DEVELOPERS behind a scheme which was pulled at the eleventh hour say they are seeking to convince Wirral Council to change its mind.
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.
Gareth Williams, location manager on Wire In The Blood, said: "At the eleventh hour, the BBC have said they're setting a kids' show here.
The Greatest Day in History: How, On the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, The First World War Came to an End" chronicles the series of events that led to the conclusion of World War I and the unconditional surrender of the Germans.
This Picasso masterpiece being sold by Andrew Lloyd Webber was withdrawn from a major auction in New York because of an eleventh hour dispute over its ownership, Christie's announced last night.