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marching orders

plural noun
Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
  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
1770-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for marching-orders
Historical Examples
  • The Faith, he begins to see, can take care of itself: for him, it is important to await his marching-orders with a clean breast.

    News from the Duchy Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He now has his mobilization-papers, his marching-orders in his pocket.

    The Secret of Sarek Maurice Leblanc
  • As the Ranelagh faction very emphatically disapproved, Lumley was compelled to give the recruit her marching-orders.

    The Magnificent Montez Horace Wyndham
British Dictionary definitions for marching-orders

marching orders

plural noun
military orders, esp to infantry, giving instructions about a march, its destination, etc
(informal) notice of dismissal, esp from employment
(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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