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Time is of the essence

Posted by ESC on May 09, 2001

In Reply to: Time is of the essence posted by R. Berg on May 09, 2001

: : WHAT DOES THE PHRASE "Time is of the essence" MEAN?

: Speed is essential. There's a deadline, this is an emergency, hurry up, do it now.

"TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE - In legal documents a date will be given, after which may be written: 'Time is of the essence.' This is a very old expression, credited by Barlett's 'Quotations' to Mr. Anon. It seems to mean simply that it is essential that the actions provided for in the legal document be completed by the date given." The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977)