What does the "a long time coming" mean in the following sentence?

The collision between president and F.B.I. director that culminated with Mr. Comey’s stunning dismissal on Tuesday had been a long time coming.

  • It means that it's been coming for a long time.
    – Hot Licks
    May 11, 2017 at 2:36

1 Answer 1


The expression "a long time coming" in that sentence expresses the writer's mild surprise that Comey had not been dismissed earlier. The writer believes that there were other occasions that he would have expected Comey to be dismissed or that Comey has a history of doing things that the writer believed would have caused his dismissal.

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