to burn the midnight oil

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - burn the midnight oil

"to burn the midnight oil"

to stay up very late at night working or studying


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - burn the midnight oil

Two students are talking ...

Student 1:  You look tired this morning and we have that biology final today.

Student 2:  I was burning the midnight oil last night doing some last minute cramming.

Student 1:  How late did you study until?

Student 2:  I studied until dawn.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - burn the midnight oil

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How's work?

Friend 2:  It's been really busy lately. I've burned the midnight oil every night for a week now.

Friend 1:  All work and no play is not good for you. Besides, a good night's sleep is important.

Friend 2:  That's difficult when work forces you to stay up until two o'clock every morning.

to burn the midnight oil - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   236   click for frequency by country

to burn the midnight oil - Gerund Form:

Burning the midnight oil is a common practice for university students.

to burn the midnight oil - Examples:

1)  ... is growing faster than many start-up firms can hire new staff, workers burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines and compete with rivals.

2)  ... caffeine gives us the ability to help get going in the morning or burn the midnight oil, ...

3)  ... it is no surprise that they often burn the midnight oil, with hardly any time to repay their sleep debt, ...

4)  While it's tempting to burn the midnight oil in the days and nights leading up to the wedding, don't! 

5)  ... suited to rising early and going to bed early, or preferring to burn the midnight oil, is at least partly down to our DNA, according to new research ...

6)  ... negotiators will be forced to burn the midnight oil to finalise discussions on three key issues on agriculture including export competition, ...

7)  Burn the midnight oil with your books when night falls.

8)  ANC members were planning to burn the midnight oil in order to thrash out any obstacles that could hamper the leadership ambitions of ...

9)  Many students sit the whole day and then burn the midnight oil in an attempt to cram in as much information as possible.

10)  It will be a stretch, but if I burn the midnight oil I know I can continue to represent my constituents well as I study.

11)  All their hard work including seven attempts, burning the midnight oil and the technical problems finally paid off.

12)  I was burning the midnight oil last night editing a transcript from my interview with ...

13)  But such excellence comes at a price, namely a lot of nights burning the midnight oil.

14)  We'll be burning the midnight oil to edit and produce it.

15)  ... every budget, the devil is in the detail and we'll be burning the midnight oil seeking to find out what these announcements mean for the county.

16)  After one term of slogging and burning the midnight oil, students should have time to rest and relax.

17)  Many of my friends were burning the midnight oil to study for their exams and hardly had time to cook or get a ...

18)  Both ladies have been burning the midnight oil in attempts to forge their solo careers.

19)  Sacrificing, giving your all, doing the grind, burning the midnight oil, working and believing that you can make it one day.

20)  ... hours in front of the computer. Forgetting to eat until 5pm. Burning the midnight oil, that becomes 2am oil, and then 4am oil ...