in order

Idioms & Phrases

in order

  1. In proper sequence or arrangement, as in The children lined up in order of size, or Are the letters all in order? [c. 1400]

  2. Suitable, correct, appropriate, as in A few words on this subject are in order now. [Mid-1800s]

  3. See in short order.

  4. in order that. So that, to the end or purpose that, as in In order that Bob can meet my husband, we've come early. [Early 1700s]

  5. in order to. For the purpose of, as a means to, as in We'll have to hire more help in order to finish on time. This usage always precedes a verb, such as finish in the example. [c. 1700]

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