WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
time /taɪm/USA pronunciation
n., adj., v., timed, tim•ing. n.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
adj. [before a noun]
- the system in which events follow from one to another;
the passing of minutes, hours, days, or years:[uncountable]Einstein's conception of time.
- Time a system of measuring the passage of time:[uncountable; sometimes: Time]six o'clock Greenwich Mean Time.
- a limited period, as between two events:[countable; often: a + singular]a long time.
- a particular period:[countable]Youth is the best time of life.
- Often, times. [plural]
- a period in history, esp. one existing over the same years as (the life of) a famous person: [countable]prehistoric times.[uncountable]in Lincoln's time.
- [countable] the current period of months, years, etc., or the period just passed:It's a sign of the times.
- [countable] a period identified with reference to its conditions:hard times.
- the end of a period, as of one's life or a pregnancy:[uncountable]His time had come (= He would die shortly). When her time came, she delivered twins.
- a period experienced in a particular way:[countable]Have a good time.
- a period of work of an employee, or the pay for it:[uncountable]He's put in his time at the job.
- Informal Termsa term of forced duty or imprisonment or jail:[uncountable]had to do time for her crime.
- the period necessary for something:[uncountable]The bus takes too much time, so I'll take a plane.
- leisure or spare time:[uncountable]I hope to take some time (= for vacation) in August.
- a definite point in time, as indicated by a clock: [uncountable]breakfast time.[countable]at evening times.
- a special or agreed-on instant or period:[countable]There is a time for everything.
- the particular time when an event is scheduled to take place: [uncountable]Curtain time is at 8.[countable]Departure times have been pushed back.
- an indefinite period into the future:[uncountable]Time will tell.
- each occasion of a repeated action:[countable]to do something five times.
- times, [plural] the number of instances a quantity or factor are taken together:Two goes into six three times.
- Music and Dance[uncountable]
the speed of movement in a piece of music, or its characteristic meter or rhythm.
- proper rhythm or tempo:The drummer couldn't keep time.Seekeep time below.
- Military rate of marching, counted by the number of steps taken per minute:[uncountable]double time.
v. [~ + object]
- of or relating to the passage of time.
- (of an explosive device) containing a clock so that it will explode at the desired moment:a time bomb.
- of or relating to an installment plan of paying:time payments.
- to measure or record the speed or rate of:The judges timed the race.
- to fix how long (something) should be:She timed the test at 15 minutes.
- Timeto fix the interval between (actions, etc.):They timed their strokes at six per minute.
- Timeto regulate (a train, etc.) as to time.
- to choose the moment or occasion for;
schedule:He timed the attack perfectly.
tim•er, n. [countable]
- Idiomsagainst time, in an effort to finish within a limited period:The advertising team was working against time to finish the project.
- ahead of one's time, in advance of others in one's thinking, etc.:Those ancient astronomers were way ahead of their time.
- ahead of time, before the time due;
early:arrived ahead of time and had to wait.
- Idiomsat one time:
formerly:At one time she was the chairman of the board.
- at the same time;
simultaneously:He was at one time chairman of the board and president of the company.
- Idiomsat the same time, nevertheless;
yet:He's young; at the same time, he's quite responsible.
- Idiomsat times, occasionally:The car seems to stall at times.
- Idiomsbehind the times, old-fashioned;
dated:She complained that her parents were behind the times.
- Idiomsfor the time being, temporarily;
for the present;
for a while:For the time being we'll let you stay on the job.
- Idiomsfrom time to time, occasionally;
at different periods:From time to time she'd let me watch as she painted.
- Idiomsgain time, to achieve a delay or postponement:He tried to gain time by putting off the signing of the papers.
- Idiomsin good time:
- in advance of the appointed time;
punctually:We arrived there in good time.
- at the best or appropriate time:"When can we open the presents?'' —"All in good time.''
- Idiomsin no time, in a very brief time:In no time she was at the door, ready to go.
- Idiomsin time:
- early enough:Come in time for dinner.
- in the future;
eventually:In time he'll understand.
- in the correct rhythm or tempo:The drummer isn't in time.
- Idiomskeep time:
- to record time, as a watch does:Does your watch keep good time?
- to mark or observe the correct tempo, as by performing rhythmic movements.
- Idiomskill time, to occupy oneself with some activity to make time pass more quickly:killed time by watching TV.
- Idiomsmake time, to move or travel quickly:We made very good time on the highway.
- Idiomsmark time:
- to slow one's progress for a while;
fail to advance:The company was just marking time, but its competitors were forging ahead.
- Militaryto move the feet as in marching, but without advancing or moving forward.
- Idiomson one's own time, during one's free time;
while not being paid.
- Idiomson time:
- at the specified time:For once the train was on time.
- to be paid for within a designated period of time, as in installments.
- Idiomstake one's time, to act without hurry.
- Idiomsthe time of one's life, a very enjoyable experience:We had the time of our lives at the seashore.
- Idiomstime after time, again and again;
repeatedly:Time after time he'd try to get over the wall.
- Idiomstime and (time) again, repeatedly;
(tīm),USA pronunciation n., adj., v., timed, tim•ing. n.
- the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future;
indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.
- duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity;
- Time(sometimes cap.) a system or method of measuring or reckoning the passage of time:mean time;apparent time;Greenwich Time.
- a limited period or interval, as between two successive events:a long time.
- a particular period considered as distinct from other periods:Youth is the best time of life.
- Often, times.
- a period in the history of the world, or contemporary with the life or activities of a notable person:prehistoric times; in Lincoln's time.
- the period or era now or previously present:a sign of the times; How times have changed!
- a period considered with reference to its events or prevailing conditions, tendencies, ideas, etc.:hard times; a time of war.
- a prescribed or allotted period, as of one's life, for payment of a debt, etc.
- the end of a prescribed or allotted period, as of one's life or a pregnancy:His time had come, but there was no one left to mourn over him. When her time came, her husband accompanied her to the delivery room.
- a period with reference to personal experience of a specified kind:to have a good time; a hot time in the old town tonight.
- a period of work of an employee, or the pay for it;
working hours or days or an hourly or daily pay rate.
- Informal Termsa term of enforced duty or imprisonment:to serve time in the army; do time in prison.
- the period necessary for or occupied by something:The time of the baseball game was two hours and two minutes. The bus takes too much time, so I'll take a plane.
- leisure time;
sufficient or spare time:to have time for a vacation; I have no time to stop now.
- a particular or definite point in time, as indicated by a clock:What time is it?
- a particular part of a year, day, etc.;
season or period:It's time for lunch.
- an appointed, fit, due, or proper instant or period:a time for sowing;the time when the sun crosses the meridian;There is a time for everything.
- the particular point in time when an event is scheduled to take place:train time; curtain time.
- an indefinite, frequently prolonged period or duration in the future:Time will tell if what we have done here today was right.
- the right occasion or opportunity:to watch one's time.
- each occasion of a recurring action or event:to do a thing five times; It's the pitcher's time at bat.
- times, used as a multiplicative word in phrasal combinations expressing how many instances of a quantity or factor are taken together:Two goes into six three times; five times faster.
- Literature[Drama.]one of the three unities. Cf. unity (def. 8).
- Poetry[Pros.]a unit or a group of units in the measurement of meter.
- Music and Dance
relative rapidity of movement.
- the metrical duration of a note or rest.
- proper or characteristic tempo.
- the general movement of a particular kind of musical composition with reference to its rhythm, metrical structure, and tempo.
- the movement of a dance or the like to music so arranged:waltz time.
- Militaryrate of marching, calculated on the number of paces taken per minute:double time; quick time.
- Sport[Manège.]each completed action or movement of the horse.
- against time, in an effort to finish something within a limited period:We worked against time to get out the newspaper.
- ahead of time, before the time due;
early:The building was completed ahead of time.
- at one time:
in a former time:At one time they owned a restaurant.
- at the same time;
at once:They all tried to talk at one time.
- at the same time, nevertheless;
yet:I'd like to try it, but at the same time I'm a little afraid.
- at times, at intervals;
occasionally:At times the city becomes intolerable.
- beat someone's time, [Slang.]to compete for or win a person being dated or courted by another;
prevail over a rival:He accused me, his own brother, of trying to beat his time.
- behind the times, old-fashioned;
dated:These attitudes are behind the times.
- for the time being, temporarily;
for the present:Let's forget about it for the time being.
- from time to time, on occasion;
at intervals:She comes to see us from time to time.
- gain time, to postpone in order to make preparations or gain an advantage;
delay the outcome of:He hoped to gain time by putting off signing the papers for a few days more.
- in good time:
- at the right time;
- in advance of the right time;
early:We arrived at the appointed spot in good time.
- in no time, in a very brief time;
almost at once:Working together, they cleaned the entire house in no time.
- in time:
- early enough:to come in time for dinner.
- in the future;
eventually:In time he'll see what is right.
- in the correct rhythm or tempo:There would always be at least one child who couldn't play in time with the music.
- keep time:
- to record time, as a watch or clock does.
- to mark or observe the tempo.
- to perform rhythmic movements in unison.
- kill time, to occupy oneself with some activity to make time pass quickly:While I was waiting, I killed time counting the cars on the freight trains.
- make time:
- to move quickly, esp. in an attempt to recover lost time.
- to travel at a particular speed.
- make time with, [Slang.]to pursue or take as a sexual partner.
- many a time, again and again;
frequently:Many a time they didn't have enough to eat and went to bed hungry.
- mark time:
- to suspend progress temporarily, as to await developments;
fail to advance.
- Militaryto move the feet alternately as in marching, but without advancing.
- on one's own time, during one's free time;
without payment:He worked out more efficient production methods on his own time.
- on time:
- at the specified time;
- to be paid for within a designated period of time, as in installments:Many people are never out of debt because they buy everything on time.
- out of time, not in the proper rhythm:His singing was out of time with the music.
- pass the time of day, to converse briefly with or greet someone:The women would stop in the market to pass the time of day.
- take one's time, to be slow or leisurely;
dawdle:Speed was important here, but he just took his time.
- time after time, again and again;
often:I've told him time after time not to slam the door.
- time and time again, repeatedly;
often:Time and time again I warned her to stop smoking.Also, time and again.
- time of life, (one's) age:At your time of life you must be careful not to overdo things.
- time of one's life, [Informal.]an extremely enjoyable experience:They had the time of their lives on their trip to Europe.
- of, pertaining to, or showing the passage of time.
- (of an explosive device) containing a clock so that it will detonate at the desired moment:a time bomb.
- Business[Com.]payable at a stated period of time after presentment:time drafts or notes.
- of or pertaining to purchases on the installment plan, or with payment postponed.
- to measure or record the speed, duration, or rate of:to time a race.
- to fix the duration of:The proctor timed the test at 15 minutes.
- Timeto fix the interval between (actions, events, etc.):They timed their strokes at six per minute.
- Timeto regulate (a train, clock, etc.) as to time.
- to appoint or choose the moment or occasion for;
schedule:He timed the attack perfectly.
- to keep time;
sound or move in unison.
- bef. 900; (noun, nominal) Middle English; Old English tīma; cognate with Old Norse tīmi; (verb, verbal) Middle English timen to arrange a time, derivative of the noun, nominal; akin to tide1
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged term, spell, span.
- 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged epoch, era.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
time /taɪm/ n
- the continuous passage of existence in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, through the present, to a state of finality in the past
- a quantity measuring duration, usually with reference to a periodic process such as the rotation of the earth or the vibration of electromagnetic radiation emitted from certain atoms. In classical mechanics, time is absolute in the sense that the time of an event is independent of the observer. According to the theory of relativity it depends on the observer's frame of reference. Time is considered as a fourth coordinate required, along with three spatial coordinates, to specify an event
- a specific point on this continuum expressed in terms of hours and minutes: the time is four o'clock
- a system of reckoning for expressing time: Greenwich mean time
- a definite and measurable portion of this continuum
- (as modifier): time limit
- an accepted period such as a day, season, etc
- (in combination): springtime
- an unspecified interval; a while
- (often plural) a period or point marked by specific attributes or events: the Victorian times, time for breakfast
- a sufficient interval or period: have you got time to help me?
- an instance or occasion: I called you three times
- an occasion or period of specified quality: have a good time, a miserable time
- the duration of human existence
- the heyday of human life: in her time she was a great star
- a suitable period or moment: it's time I told you
- the expected interval in which something is done
- a particularly important moment, esp childbirth or death: her time had come
- (plural) indicating a degree or amount calculated by multiplication with the number specified: ten times three is thirty, he earns four times as much as me
- (often plural) the fashions, thought, etc, of the present age (esp in the phrases ahead of one's time, behind the times)
- informal a term in jail (esp in the phrase do time)
- a customary or full period of work
- the rate of pay for this period
Also (esp US): metre the system of combining beats or pulses in music into successive groupings by which the rhythm of the music is established
- a specific system having a specific number of beats in each grouping or bar: duple time
- short for time value
- against time ⇒ in an effort to complete something in a limited period
- ahead of time ⇒ before the deadline
- at one time ⇒ once; formerly
- at the same time ⇒ simultaneously
- nevertheless; however
- at times ⇒ sometimes
- beat time ⇒ (of a conductor, etc) to indicate the tempo or pulse of a piece of music by waving a baton or a hand, tapping out the beats, etc
- for the time being ⇒ for the moment; temporarily
- from time to time ⇒ at intervals; occasionally
- have no time for ⇒ to have no patience with; not tolerate
- in good time ⇒ early
- in no time ⇒ very quickly; almost instantaneously
- in one's own time ⇒ outside paid working hours
- at one's own rate
- in time ⇒ early or at the appointed time
- at a correct metrical or rhythmic pulse
- keep time ⇒ to observe correctly the accent or rhythmic pulse of a piece of music in relation to tempo
- make time ⇒ to find an opportunity
- (often followed by with) US informal to succeed in seducing
- on time ⇒ at the expected or scheduled time
- US payable in instalments
- pass the time of day ⇒ to exchange casual greetings (with an acquaintance)
- time and again ⇒ frequently
- time off ⇒ a period when one is absent from work for a holiday, through sickness, etc
- time on ⇒ Austral an additional period played at the end of a match, to compensate for time lost through injury or (in certain circumstances) to allow the teams to achieve a conclusive result
- time out of mind ⇒ from time immemorial
- time of one's life ⇒ a memorably enjoyable time
- (modifier) operating automatically at or for a set time, for security or convenience: time lock, time switch
- to ascertain or calculate the duration or speed of
- to set a time for
- to adjust to keep accurate time
- to pick a suitable time for
- to control the execution or speed of (an action, esp a shot or stroke) so that it has its full effect at the right moment
Etymology: Old English tīma; related to Old English tīd time, Old Norse tīmi, Alemannic zīme; see tide1
- the word called out by a publican signalling that it is closing time
'pass the time of day' also found in these entries: