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dot the i's and cross the t's

To do something carefully and make sure that every last minor detail is completed. Please make sure to dot the i's and cross the t's when signing this contract. I made sure to dot the i's and cross the t's when installing the circuit breaker—you can never be too careful with electrical work.
See also: and, cross, dot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dot the i's and cross the t's

Be meticulous and precise, fill in all the particulars, as in Laura had dotted all the i's and crossed the t's, so she wondered what she'd done wrong . This expression presumably began as an admonition to schoolchildren to write carefully and is sometimes shortened. William Makepeace Thackeray had it in a magazine article ( Scribner's Magazine, 1849): "I have . . . dotted the i's." [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, cross, dot
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.

dot the i's and cross the t's

If you dot the i's and cross the t's, you make sure that all the details of something are correct. The two sides are close to a basic agreement. Dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's may take some time, however. Unless all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, a contract is not likely to be enforced. Note: In old-fashioned styles of handwriting, you write a word with one movement of your pen, and then go back and add the dot to any i's and the cross-strokes to any t's.
See also: and, cross, dot
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dot the i's and cross the t's

ensure that all details are correct. informal
See also: and, cross, dot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dot the i's and cross the t's, to

To be precise and meticulous. The source of this expression, it is alleged, is the possibility of confusing these letters if they are carelessly penned, and presumably it began as an admonition to schoolchildren and/or scribes. It was soon transferred to other affairs, and has been a cliché since the late nineteenth century.
See also: and, cross, dot
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hariri left these commitments vague and unclear, but the media on Monday tried to dot the i's and cross the t's. (See details on the following pages.)
It's all done and dusted and we just need to dot the i's and cross the t's."
Murphy said: ''It hasn't been finalised but we just need to dot the I's and cross the T's.