take time by the forelock

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

take time by the forelock

  1. To seize an opportunity
    • 1595, Edmund Spenser, Amoretti, Sonnet 70, [1]
      Tell her the ioyous time wil not be staid, / Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take;
    • 1726, William Rufus Chetwood, The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Robert Boyle, London: Andrew Millar, 1728, pp. 5-6 [2]
      [] I knew a Parson's Wife that seldom went to Church, but took Time by the Forelock, and while the Husband (good Man) was taking Care of his Flock, the good Woman at Home was at her Occupation with her Gallant, a rich young Farmer.
    • 1920, Angela Brazil, The Princess of the School, New York, A.L. Burt, 1921, Chapter I, p. 1, [3]
      Miss Walters, dreading the Christmas rush on the railway, had determined to take time by the forelock, and meant to pack off her pupils by the first available trains, trusting they would most of them reach their destinations before the overcrowding became a serious problem in the traffic.

Synonyms[edit]