from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The period just before a significant or concluding moment such as a deadline, due date, or scheduled event: always waits until the last minute to do his holiday shopping.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An arbitrary (non-specific) point in time, too close to a deadline to reasonably begin a critical task.
  • adj. Very close to a deadline.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the latest possible moment


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I think they worked it out together, maybe even as an academic exercise to begin with, and then, when the trial run succeeded, they did it in earnest, and then Quorn tried at the last minute to back out. '

    To The Hilt

  • Late at night, the memories of that last day, that last hour on DS9, that last minute before he had been beamed out to the U.S.S. Garneau, were as vivid to Nog as if they had happened only hours earlier, as if he were still in his youth, still only an ensign.


  • Three gold olive-branch pins, exact replicas of the gold olive branch in the packet that Aldrin tossed down at the last minute to the lunar surface during the EVA.

    First Man

  • Moore, Art Codron, Mark Bourcier, the writers of this book, Jonathan Lane & Alex Rosenzweig thanks for the last minute work!


  • Writing his friend, the Virginia delegate Joseph Jones, Washington confirmed that dissatisfaction in the ranks had risen to an “alarming height,” and that officers had been planning to resign en masse before agreeing at the last minute to await the outcome of the memorial.

    Robert Morris

  • He could tolerate her illness because there was always the false hope that stems the flow of nightmares, the belief that something miraculous could still happen, that medicine and science would produce a cure just in time, what the Greeks called their deus ex machina, a last minute device to save the day and restore our world to its balance and health.


  • Either a printer-prankster or an editorial writer who could not stand it any longer changed the headline at the last minute to “Mush From the Wimp.”

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Adoption of the test-ban treaty by the Conference on Disarmament was blocked at the last minute but on Australia's initiative, the treaty was taken to the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 where it was finally passed.

    New $10M Station to Monitor Nuclear Explosions - Media Releases from the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

  • Finally, when the last minute bit of the I-231 solution had en­tered the man's veins and done its work, Doc nodded.

    Science Fiction Hall of Fame

  • Another may be a great conceptualizer with poor sequential ordering and time management problems, so he never submits his perceptive essays in time to meet deadlines or else leaves their completion to the last minute and produces a substandard rush job.

    A Mind at a Time


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  • Completed in a hurry in order to meet a deadline.

    March 19, 2008