days are numbered, one's


Also, its days are numbered. The usefulness or life of someone or something is nearly ended. For example, When they announced the layoffs, she knew her days at the company were numbered, or My car's days are numbered—the transmission is shot. A version of this expression appears in the Bible (Daniel 5:26): “God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it.” It came into common use in the late 1800s.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU ACE THIS QUIZ ABOUT “COMPLIMENT” VS. “COMPLEMENT”?

Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
Question 1 of 11
“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.

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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.