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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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Also surprising was the invitation extended to Virginia Tech; until the eleventh hour, Virginia Tech was not coveted by the ACC.
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At the eleventh hour, however, Virginia relented, but not before persuading ASMFC to consider an addendum, approved last April, allowing "transfer quotas."
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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.
away from West Coast tycoon Jim Pattison with an eleventh hour bid.