marching orders

See synonyms for marching orders on
plural noun
  1. Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.

  2. Informal.

    • 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

Words Nearby marching orders Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use marching orders in a sentence

  • What things have I heard, what awful sights have I seen since I received my marching orders!

  • He would receive his marching orders within ten minutes of the discovery of what he had done.

    The Gold Bat | P. G. Wodehouse
  • If Falconnet has got his marching orders you may be sure he's tried by hook or crook to play 'safe bind, safe find,' with Madge.

    The Master of Appleby | Francis Lynde
  • It was evident that the sudden marching orders had taken them all by surprise, and unsettled most of their brains.

    Rutledge | Miriam Coles Harris
  • "There are your marching orders, gentlemen, and a captain ready provided for you," said the honorary secretary sarcastically.

    The Little Missis | Charlotte Skinner

British Dictionary definitions for marching orders

marching orders

pl n
  1. military orders, esp to infantry, giving instructions about a march, its destination, etc

  2. informal notice of dismissal, esp from employment

  1. 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