the eleventh hour

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the eˌleventh ˈhour

the moment when it is almost, but not quite, too late to do something, avoid something, etc: Our pianist had fallen ill, and then, at the eleventh hour, when we thought we’d have to cancel the performance, Jill offered to replace him. ▶ eˌleventh-ˈhour adj.: an eleventh-hour decision
See also: eleventh, hour
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