marching orders, get one's


Be ordered to move on or proceed; also, be dismissed from a job. For example, The sales force got their marching orders yesterday, so now they'll be on the road with the new product, or It's too bad about Jack—the boss gave him his marching orders Friday. This expression originally alluded to a military command. [Colloquial; late 1700s]

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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.