burn the midnight oil

Slang Dictionary

burn definition


  1. n.
    a cigarette. : Fred just stood there with a burn on his lower lip and his hands in his pockets.
  2. tv.
    to smoke a cigarette. : I need to burn a fag. Just a minute.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

burn the midnight oil

Stay up late working or studying, as in The semester is almost over and we're all burning the midnight oil before exams. This expression alludes to the oil in oil lamps. [Early 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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