eleventh hour

noun
the last possible moment for doing something: to change plans at the eleventh hour.

Origin:
1820–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
eleventh hour
 
n
a.  the latest possible time; last minute
 b.  (as modifier): an eleventh-hour decision

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

eleventh hour definition


The last minute: “The water bombers arrived at the eleventh hour — just in time to prevent the forest fire from engulfing the town.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

eleventh hour

The latest possible time, as in We turned in our report at the eleventh hour. This term is thought to allude to the parable of the laborers (Matthew 20:1-16), in which those workers hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour working day were paid the same amount as those who began in the first hour. [Early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
He laments our spiritual miseries, especially his sins and sloth continued all his life now to the eleventh hour.
We cannot afford to wait until the eleventh hour to reach an agreement.
In no way, has this been a hasty or negligent eleventh hour surprise.
We should not play politics with national security by delaying debate over these issues until the eleventh hour.
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