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bide one's time

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Wait for the opportune moment, as in The cat sat in front of the mousehole, biding its time. This phrase employs the verb to bide in the sense of “to wait for,” a usage dating from about a.d. 950 and surviving mainly in this locution.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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