burn the midnight oil
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British pronunciation/bˈɜːn ðə mˈɪdnaɪt ˈɔɪl/
American pronunciation/bˈɜːn ðə mˈɪdnaɪt ˈɔɪl/

to do something until the very late hours of the night

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to [burn] the midnight oil definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "burn the midnight oil" and when to use it?

The idiom "burn the midnight oil" has its origins in the literal act of burning oil lamps or candles to work late into the night. Before the advent of electric lighting, people relied on oil lamps for illumination. Those who continued working long after sunset would need to burn oil late into the night to extend their working hours. Over time, this literal practice evolved into a metaphorical expression, signifying the act of working or studying late into the night to meet deadlines or complete tasks.

The dedicated team burned the midnight oil to ensure the successful launch of the new software.
Entrepreneurs often find themselves burning the midnight oil in the early stages of building their businesses.
The author burned the midnight oil to meet the publisher's deadline for the upcoming book.
With the project deadline approaching, she had to burn the midnight oil to finish the report.
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Meaning of "To [burn] the midnight oil"
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