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marching orders

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plural noun

Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
Informal.
  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.

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Origin of marching orders

First recorded in 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for marching orders

marching orders

pl n

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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