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English definition of “have a few, several, etc. irons in the fire”

have a few, several, etc. irons in the fire

to be involved with many activities or jobs at the same time or to make certain that there are always several possibilities available: If that job application doesn't work out I've got a couple more irons in the fire.
(Definition of have a few, several, etc. irons in the fire from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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