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Burn daylight

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Burn daylight (Shak.) to waste time in superfluous actions
    • ***

Idioms

Burning daylight - Burning daylight is wasting time.
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S.; the weak verb bœrnan, bœrnde, bœrned, has been confused with beornan, byrnan, barn, bornen; cf. Ger. brennen, to burn.

Usage

In literature:

The lamp still stood burning on the table, fighting feebly against the daylight which was pouring in through the skylight.
"Sea Urchins" by W. W. Jacobs
At daylight on the 6th, Lieutenant Burne's two guns were moved to a position at the east of Zwartz Kop.
"With the Naval Brigade in Natal (1899-1900)" by Charles Richard Newdigate Burne
The lamp still stood burning on the table, fighting feebly against the daylight which was pouring in through the skylight.
"More Cargoes" by W. W. Jacobs
At daylight we found ourselves abreast of a burning volcano.
"Borneo and the Indian Archipelago" by Frank S. Marryat
For the latter purpose a detachment went boldly in broad daylight and burned the lighthouse at the harbor's mouth.
"The Siege of Boston" by Allen French
The bridge was burned, and we proceeded on and passed Cedar Bluff just after daylight.
"The Battle of Atlanta" by Grenville M. Dodge
I observed patriotism to burn much lower by daylight.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Her lamp burned till daylight.
"Hand and Ring" by Anna Katharine Green
If he could burn up daylight chasing his tail any better than this crowd can, lolling around on a picnic, he must be the limit.
"Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl" by Isabel Katherine Hornibrook
Moncure D. Conway burns daylight, never the midnight oil, and rarely the evening oil.
"Methods of Authors" by Hugo Erichsen
He's as clever as daylight, a pupil of Burns.
"Mrs. Fitz" by J. C. Snaith
He had a wan, faded, unnatural look in the summer daylight, like a lamp that has been left burning all night.
"The Doctor's Wife" by M. E. Braddon
I walked away then, and when I was at the fountain outside, daylight had come and my log was burned.
"Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland" by Jeremiah Curtin
I quenched the candles burning on the table; it was almost daylight.
"Hania" by Henryk Sienkiewicz
This scene was repeated at frequent intervals until daylight, the fire continuing to burn in spite of all orders.
"A Narrative of Service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry" by Julian Wisner Hinkley
Our candles burned low; we feared they would not last until daylight.
"The Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Volume I (of 2)" by Florence A. Thomas Marshall
The fire had burned out on the hearth, the lamp was out too, but grey daylight was shimmering through the uncurtained panes.
"Wild Life in the Land of the Giants" by Gordon Stables
She went to the lamp to pour in oil that it might burn till the daylight.
"Roumanian Stories" by Various
With the return of daylight, following their narrow escape, Henry Burns and his friends, wide awake, had begun fishing early.
"The Rival Campers Afloat" by Ruel Perley Smith
In daylight will we burn their walls.
"Stories from Virgil" by Alfred J. Church
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In poetry:

The Sun above the desert sands
Burns a full orb of gold,
Cold daylight falls upon our streets,
Townsmen no Sun
"Man With Girl" by Walter James Turner
The daylight is dying,
The Flying fox flying,
Amber and amethyst burn in the sky.
See, the sun throws a late,
Lingering, roseate
Kiss to the landscape to bid it good-bye.
"The Garden Of Kama: Kama The Indian Eros" by Laurence Hope