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2017 Word of the Year

eleventh hour

the last possible moment for doing something:
to change plans at the eleventh hour.
Origin of eleventh hour
First recorded in 1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for eleventh hour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the eleventh hour she came to me to make terms for your pardon.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • The nerve he had been living on had suddenly snapped at the eleventh hour.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • No man in your position has a right to fly out like this at the eleventh hour.

  • And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • I only hope he doesn't want me to write another article at the eleventh hour.

    We Two Edna Lyall
British Dictionary definitions for eleventh hour

eleventh hour

  1. the latest possible time; last minute
  2. (as modifier): an eleventh-hour decision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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eleventh hour in Culture

eleventh hour definition

The last minute: “The water bombers arrived at the eleventh hour — just in time to prevent the forest fire from engulfing the town.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with 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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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