- Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
- orders to start out, move on, proceed, etc.: We're just sitting by the phone, awaiting our marching orders.
- notice of dismissal from a position or job; walking papers.
Origin of marching orders
First recorded in 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for marching orders
He now has his mobilization-papers, his marching-orders in his pocket.The Secret of Sarek
The Faith, he begins to see, can take care of itself: for him, it is important to await his marching-orders with a clean breast.News from the Duchy
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
As the Ranelagh faction very emphatically disapproved, Lumley was compelled to give the recruit her marching-orders.The Magnificent Montez
- 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