the rubber meets the road
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- Used other than as an idiom: see rubber, meet, road.
1928, How to avoid automobile accidents, page 30:
- Even 500 feet probably wouldn't allow you to brake to a stop, because it's "where the rubber meets the road" that counts.
- (idiomatic, with "where" etc.) A place or circumstance at which the implementation of a plan or intent is to be achieved.
2002, F. Stevens Redburn, Public policies for distressed communities revisited, page 159:
- It can only be judged "when the rubber meets the road"; when its implementation does or does not produce results.
2007, Dan Miller, 48 Days to the Work You Love, page 85:
- It is in the interview that the rubber meets the road.
- almost always used with "that", "when", or "where".