marching-orders

marching orders

noun
1.
Military. orders to begin a march or other troop movement.
2.
Informal.
a.
orders to start out, move on, proceed, etc.: We're just sitting by the phone, awaiting our marching orders.
b.
notice of dismissal from a position or job; walking papers.

Origin:
1770–80

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
marching orders
 
pl n
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

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