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take the floor

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Rise to speak formally to an assembled group, as in After that long introduction, the treasurer took the floor. This idiom uses floor in the sense of “right to speak,” in turn derived from its meaning as the part of the legislature from which members address the group. [c. 1800]

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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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