signed, sealed, and delivered


Completed satisfactorily, as in The house is sold—signed, sealed, and delivered. This idiom refers to a legal deed, which to be valid had to be signed by the seller, sealed with a wax seal, and delivered to the new owner. It began to be used more loosely in the first half of the 1900s.

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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.