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last laugh, have the

Succeed in the end, after some earlier reverses. For example, We'll have the last laugh when they learn we got the contract. This expression, alluding to laughing at the loser, appeared in slightly different form in the mid-1500s and gave rise to the modern proverbial phrase, He who laughs last laughs best (or He laughs best who laughs last).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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