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Someone's number is up the moment before they die. When used in the past tense, it means they were destined to die at the very time they actually did die. When used in the present tense, it might be a threat to kill someone immediately.

The phrase is perhaps based on the Take-a-Number System, in which customers take a numbered ticket rather than waiting in line. When the clerk calls out your number, "your number is up", and it is your turn to place your order with the clerk. Of course, the clerk might be the grim reaper instead!
A tree fell and killed him because his number was up. OR: You've pissed me off too many times, Humberto; your number is up.
by jpUrbanDick January 15, 2014
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