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marching orders

plural noun
1.
Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
2.
Informal.
  1. orders to start out, move on, proceed, etc.:
    We're just sitting by the phone, awaiting our marching orders.
  2. notice of dismissal from a position or job; walking papers.
Origin of marching orders
1770-1780
1770-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for marching orders
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I see my way plainly so far; but I am all abroad, as we used to say in the militia, about my marching orders afterward.

    No Name Wilkie Collins
  • The Governor had bidden him follow Congdon and here were his marching orders.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • Our marching orders are threefold, one order concerning each form of service touched by the three objections.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • These words kept ringing in my ears; these were our marching orders.

  • And to be sure, in a few minutes, Gigot came in with a letter, Angelot's marching orders.

    Angelot Eleanor Price
  • marching orders may come any day, and then we want everybody up and dressed.

British Dictionary definitions for marching orders

marching orders

plural noun
1.
military orders, esp to infantry, giving instructions about a march, its destination, etc
2.
(informal) notice of dismissal, esp from employment
3.
(informal) the instruction to proceed with a task
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for marching orders

marching orders

noun phrase

A directive to get going or carry out instructions: marching orders for the husbands (1937+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for marching

16
19
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