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An allusion to the beginning of a footrace or horse race, when competitors rush forth out of the starting blocks or gate.


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off and running (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Launched or launching vigorously into a course of action.
    • 2000 July 24, Felicity Barringer, "Running on Adrenaline And Ideology at The Post," New York Times (retrieved 16 April 2015):
      But both newspapers made the same point. . . . And so the story was off and running.
    • 2007 Oct. 27, Jessica Au, "When Movies Follow The Storm," Newsweek (retrieved 16 April 2015):
      The train won't budge, but the film that this scene opens, the Kafkaesque Romanian comedy "California Dreamin'," is off and running.
    • 2014 Dec. 14, Jay Fitzgerald, "Economic recovery starts gaining steam," Boston Globe (retrieved 16 April 2015):
      [T]he recovery seems to have entered a new stage in recent months. “We’re finally off and running,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

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