the whole nine yards

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All the way; with everything done completely or thoroughly.

Etymology:

  • During WWII, U.S. Airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, I gave them the whole nine yards, meaning they used up all of their ammunition.
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They really went the whole nine yards with this party.

Submitted on July 23, 2010

Additional definitions for 'the whole nine yards':

the whole nine yardsAnd everything. Often used, like etc., to finish out a list.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to the whole nine yards

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "the whole nine yards." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 22 Oct. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/the-whole-nine-yards_7435>.

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