thousand

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by the thousands

In huge quantities, presumably numbering several thousand. When the potato famine hit Ireland, the Irish began emigrating—especially to America—by the thousands.
See also: thousand

by the thousand

In huge quantities, presumably numbering several thousand. When the potato famine hit Ireland, the Irish began emigrating by the thousand.
See also: thousand

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

A daunting task can usually be started by doing a simple thing. I'm feeling really overwhelmed about my research project, but I have to start somewhere, since a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

a picture paints a thousand words

A picture can express something more clearly or succinctly than words can. I know I'm doing a bad job of capturing the scene by describing it, so look here—a picture paints a thousand words, doesn't it?
See also: paint, picture, thousand, word

bat a thousand

1. In baseball, to get a hit every time one is at bat (resulting in a batting average of 1.000). The slugger is still batting a thousand after a record eight at-bats.
2. By extension, to be successful in an endeavor or in multiple areas of one's life. I'm really batting a thousand this week—I got an A on my exam, I got the lead in the school play, and I won the poetry contest!
See also: bat, thousand

be batting a thousand

1. In baseball, to get a hit every time one is at bat (resulting in a batting average of 1.000). The slugger is still batting a thousand after a record eight at-bats.
2. By extension, to be successful in an endeavor or in multiple areas of one's life. I'm really batting a thousand this week—I got an A on my exam, I got the lead in the school play, and I won the poetry contest!
See also: batting, thousand

the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question

A question that is very important and/or difficult to answer. Taken from the title of the 1950s television game show based on the earlier radio program Take It or Leave It, which popularized the phrase "the sixty-four-dollar question." The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question now is whether he should choose his former opponent as a running mate. A: "Do you want to get Italian or Chinese tonight?" B: "Well, that's the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, isn't it?"
See also: question

not a hundred/thousand/million miles away

Only slightly different; quite similar (to something else). Your answer isn't quite right, though it isn't a million miles away. This laptop isn't a hundred miles away from the top-end computers, and it's much more affordable!

one in a million

Exceptionally uncommon or unusually excellent. Hyphenated if used before a noun. This is a one-in-a-million opportunity for us—we'd be fools not to seize it while we have the chance! My grandmother really was one in a million, and we're all very blessed to have had the opportunity to know her.
See also: million, one

by the dozen

in groups of 12. (Compare this with by the dozens.) Eggs are normally sold by the dozen.
See also: dozen

if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times

Fig. an expression that introduces a scolding, usually to a child. Mother: If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, don't leave your clothes in a pile on the floor! Bill: Sorry. "If I've toldyou once, I've told you a thousand times, keep out of my study!" yelled Bob.
See also: if, thousand, times, told

No, no, a thousand times no!

Fig. Very definitely, no! (Jocular.) Bob: Here, have some sweet potatoes. Bill: No, thanks. Bob: Oh, come on! Bill: No, no, a thousand times no! Sue: The water is a little cold, but it's invigorating. Come on in. Bill: How cold? Sue: Well, just above freezing, I guess. Come on in! Bill: No, no, a thousand times no!
See also: thousand, times

Not in a thousand years! and Never in a thousand years!

Fig. No, never! John: Will you ever approve of her marriage to Tom? Sue: No, not in a thousand years! Mary: Will all this trouble ever subside? John: Never in a thousand years!
See also: and, never, not, thousand

one in a thousand

 and one in a hundred; one in a million
Fig. nearly unique; one of a very few. He's a great guy. He's one in million. Mary's one in a hundredsuch a hard worker.
See also: one, thousand

picture is worth a thousand words

Prov. Pictures convey information more efficiently and effectively than words do. It's much easier to learn how machines work by looking at pictures, rather than by hearing someone describe them. A picture is worth a thousand words. The newspaper editor decided to devote more space to photographs of the disaster than to text, since a picture is worth a thousand words.
See also: picture, thousand, word, worth

bat one thousand

Have a perfect record, as in In meeting deadlines, she's batting one thousand. The term comes from baseball statistics, where it signifies getting a hit for every turn at bat. It was transferred to other activities in the 1920s.
See also: bat, one, thousand

by the dozen

Also, by the hundred or thousand . According to a definite quantity, as in She's buying tapes by the dozen. This usage is generally employed for some kind of rate. A 1950 film about efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth and his family was entitled Cheaper by the Dozen. [c. 1300]
See also: dozen

one in a million

Also, one in a thousand or billion . Extraordinary, rare, as in She's the kindest soul-she's one in a million, or This ring is one in a thousand. All these terms are hyperbolic.
See also: million, one

picture is worth a thousand words, one

A graphic illustration conveys a stronger message than words, as in The book jacket is a big selling point-one picture is worth a thousand words. This saying was invented by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard. To promote his agency's ads he took out an ad in Printer's Ink in 1921 with the headline "One Look Is Worth a Thousand Words" and attributed it to an ancient Japanese philosopher. Six years later he changed it to "Chinese Proverb: One Picture Is Worth Ten Thousand Words," illustrated with some Chinese characters. The attribution in both was invented; Barnard simply believed an Asian origin would give it more credibility.
See also: one, picture, thousand, worth

one in a million

If you say that someone or something is one in a million, you mean that they are very special or the best of their kind. At 25, Bernstein was a star. One in a million. Note: You can replace one with other nouns. He'll be a horse in a million if he wins. Note: You can also use one-in-a-million before a noun. We still want love and the unique experience of a close, lasting partnership with that one-in-a-million man.
See also: million, one

bat a thousand

be enjoying great success. US informal
The metaphor comes from baseball, where someone who was literally ‘batting a thousand’ would have a very high batting average.
2002 DVD Verdict Their first film, Suture , garnered them serious critical acclaim and with The Deep End , they are now batting a thousand.
See also: bat, thousand

the sixty-four thousand dollar question

something that is not known and on which a great deal depends.
This expression dates from the 1940s and was originally the sixty-four dollar question , from a question posed for the top prize in a broadcast quiz show.
1996 Independent Will conversion make the society a better business? That is the $64,000 question.

bat a ˈthousand

(American English, informal) be very successful: He’s made another sale? He’s really batting a thousand!
See also: bat, thousand

by the ˈdozen

many at the same time: On her birthday, she always receives cards by the dozen.
See also: dozen

a hundred/thousand/million and one things/things to do, etc.

(informal) very many or too many (things to do, people to see, etc.): I’m so busy — I’ve got lectures to prepare and a hundred and one letters to write — I just don’t know where to start.She’s always got a thousand and one excuses for everything.

not a hundred/thousand/million ˈmiles away/from here

(humorous) used to identify somebody/something indirectly: The person I’m talking about is not a hundred miles from here, but I’m not in a position to say who he is.We’re talking about a factory not a million miles away.

the sixty-four thousand dollar ˈquestion

(also the million dollar ˈquestion) a very important question which is difficult or impossible to answer: The sixty-four thousand dollar question for modern astronomy is ‘Is there life elsewhere in the universe?’This phrase originated in the 1940s as ‘the sixty-four dollar question’. It came from a popular US radio quiz programme at the time on which the top prize was $64.

not/never in a hundred, etc. ˈyears

(spoken) used to emphasize that you will/would never do something: I’d never have thought of that in a million years.
See also: never, not, year

if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times

phr. I know I have told you many, many times. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, don’t lean back in that chair.
See also: if, thousand, times, told

Take it down a thou(sand)!

in. Cool down!; Calm down!; Quiet down! You are wild! Take it down a thou and let’s try again to talk this out.
See also: down, take
References in classic literature ?
Eleven thousand dollars were already in the pot, and the markers were heaped in a confused pile in the centre of the table.
It'll cost you three thousand for a look in, but nobody will stop you from raising.
The capacity of this interior balloon was only sixty-seven thousand cubic feet: it was to float in the fluid surrounding it.
Hence the surface of the outside balloon being about eleven thousand six hundred square feet, its envelope weighed six hundred and fifty pounds.
Then it reached out to master an area of four hundred and thirteen thousand square miles--a great Lone Land of undeveloped resources.
Merely to operate this system requires an army of more than five thousand girls.
Upon this I was paid out notes and gold until I had by my side a total sum of two thousand gulden.
You owe forty-three thousand, Count," said Dolokhov, and stretching himself he rose from the table.
Or else, what is much better, I deliver him up to King Charles, who, having no longer either a general or an army to fear, nor a diplomatist to trick him, will restore himself, and when once restored, will pay down to me the hundred thousand crowns in question.
As to the six thousand owed to him beyond the number issued, he was prepared to consider offers.
But you will say, he might have saved the three thousand pounds, to redeem the pledged Diamond, if he had married.
Danglars lost five hundred thousand francs; but he rid himself of all his Spanish shares.
he says the king is coming in triumph; that he is dressed in state; that he has just finished putting to death, with his own hand, a thousand chained Israelitish prisoners
The old scholar and his daughter embraced, and the former said, "Truly the Holy Mother has done more than she promised, child, for she has give you a splendid marriage portion-- think of it, two thousand pieces of gold
A package of banknotes, to the value of fifty-five thousand pounds, had been taken from the principal cashier's table, that functionary being at the moment engaged in registering the receipt of three shillings and sixpence.