Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
ur•gen•cy(ˈɜr dʒən si)
n., pl. -cies.
all hands and the cook A state of emergency which of necessity becomes everyone’s top priority. This early American cowboy expression described the precarious state of affairs in which the herds were wild and all available persons were needed to bring the situation under control. Under normal circumstances, cowboys tended herds and cooks fed the cowhands; however, an emergency required that everyone chip in, temporarily ignoring differences of rank or task.
D-day See TIME.
sands are running out Time is passing; the remaining time is getting short; life is waning. The allusion is to the sands of an hourglass which have long been a symbol of the time allotted for an individual’s life.
I saw, my time, how it did run, as sand out of the glass. (Lord Henry Haward, Tottel’s Miscellany, 1557)
when push comes to shove See EXACERBATION.
when the chips are down When the situation is crucial or urgent; when action must be taken; in the clutch. This expression appears to derive from poker; the chips are “down” when they are “in,” i.e., when everyone has anted up and must play his hand.
zero hour See TIME.
|Noun||1.||urgency - the state of being urgent; an earnest and insistent necessity|
necessity - the condition of being essential or indispensable
imperativeness, insistency, press, insistence, pressure - the state of demanding notice or attention; "the insistence of their hunger"; "the press of business matters"
|2.||urgency - pressing importance requiring speedy action; "the urgency of his need"|
importance - the quality of being important and worthy of note; "the importance of a well-balanced diet"
|3.||urgency - an urgent situation calling for prompt action; "I'll be there, barring any urgencies"; "they departed hurriedly because of some great urgency in their affairs"|
situation - a complex or critical or unusual difficulty; "the dangerous situation developed suddenly"; "that's quite a situation"; "no human situation is simple"
|4.||urgency - insistent solicitation and entreaty; "his importunity left me no alternative but to agree"|
solicitation - an entreaty addressed to someone of superior status; "a solicitation to the king for relief"
not everyone had the same sense of urgency → no todo el mundo tenía el mismo sentido de la urgencia
it is a matter of urgency → es un asunto urgente
the problem must be tackled as a matter of urgency → el problema debe tratarse con la máxima urgencia