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marching orders

plural noun
Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
  1. orders to start out, move on, proceed, etc.:
    We're just sitting by the phone, awaiting our marching orders.
  2. notice of dismissal from a position or job; walking papers.
Origin of marching orders
First recorded in 1770-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for marching orders
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had got his marching orders and was to sail in the Somali from Southampton.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • The Governor had bidden him follow Congdon and here were his marching orders.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • These words kept ringing in my ears; these were our marching orders.

  • marching orders may come any day, and then we want everybody up and dressed.

  • Our regiment and the Sixth Michigan have got marching orders.

    Diary of an Enlisted Man Lawrence Van Alstyne
  • Soon228 we were ready, and eagerly awaited our marching orders.

    A Company of Tanks W. H. L. Watson
British Dictionary definitions for marching orders

marching orders

plural noun
military orders, esp to infantry, giving instructions about a march, its destination, etc
(informal) notice of dismissal, esp from employment
(informal) the instruction to proceed with a task
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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Slang definitions & phrases for marching orders

marching orders

noun phrase

A directive to get going or carry out instructions: marching orders for the husbands (1937+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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