One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A cry or signal used on board ship, typically in an emergency, to indicate that all crew members are to go on deck.
- ‘Rounding the rock is a thrilling experience with all hands on deck to trim the sails for the return leg, another 170 miles to the Bishop Rock off the Scilly Isles, and then 90 miles to the finishing line at Plymouth.’
- ‘As they neared land Brian called for all hands on deck.’
- ‘Harbour Master Cpt Phillip Cowman said it will be all hands on deck over the next 24 hours to ensure everyone gets berthed safely and on time.’
- ‘We were now encountering the last minute and Dingle had all hands on deck to rescue their rapidly sinking ship.’
- ‘It will be a case of all hands on deck as the Fleet of the Royal Australian Navy faces another hectic year, according to Maritime Commander, RADM Raydon Gates.’
- ‘When conditions finally permitted, it was all hands on deck as we formed teams heaving on a forest of ropes to hoist Eda's huge sails.’
- 1.1 Used to indicate that the involvement of all members of a team is required.‘it was all hands on deck getting breakfast ready’
- ‘We are getting orders from all over the world, which means that it is all hands on deck.’
- ‘Strange's US ship of golfers had cruised without all hands on deck for the crucial day.’
- ‘He said: ‘It's all hands on deck to get the crime figures down but it remains to be seen whether this will make any difference.’’
- ‘The front-of-house team start today - it's all hands on deck to get the event up and running for the press and private view tomorrow.’
- ‘The actor-musician productions have the human aspect because they're very much all hands on deck.’
- ‘But I will admit that hosting such an event requires all hands on deck.’
- ‘The last few minutes of this meal requires all hands on deck.’
- ‘So, it is all hands on deck and this is an absolute emergency situation that we're going to do everything that we can do with the resources that we have to assist the people who need us the most.’
- ‘I don't want to set up any huge promises, but we need all hands on deck.’
- ‘It is all hands on deck and hopefully we can get the right result.’
An order to every member of a ship's crew to report to the deck immediately, usually in an emergency.
Figurative. Used to indicate (the need for) the immediate involvement or efforts of all the members of a party, or of a large number of people, especially in an emergency.
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