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pull out all the stops

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Use all the resources or force at one's disposal, as in The police pulled out all the stops to find the thief. This term comes from organ-playing, where it means “bring into play every rank of pipes,” thereby creating the fullest possible sound. It has been used figuratively since about 1860.

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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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