moment of truth

Idioms & Phrases

moment of truth

A critical or decisive time, at which one is put to the ultimate test, as in Now that all the bills are in, we've come to the moment of truthcan we afford to live here or not? This expression, a translation of the Spanish el momento de la verdad, signifies the point in a bullfight when the matador makes the kill. It was first used in English in Ernest Hemingway's story Death in the Afternoon (1932).

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