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clockwork

[klok-wurk] /ˈklɒkˌwɜrk/
noun
1.
the mechanism of a clock.
2.
any mechanism similar to that of a clock.
Idioms
3.
like clockwork, with perfect regularity or precision:
The launching of the spacecraft went off like clockwork.
Origin of clockwork
1620-1630
First recorded in 1620-30; clock1 + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for clockwork
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His life had gradually assumed all the regularity of clockwork.

  • All right, maybe it's got a clockwork fuse that didn't break with the impact.

    One-Shot James Benjamin Blish
  • My breath was short, and there was clockwork going in my head.

    Dross

    Henry Seton Merriman
  • Tik-tok moved by clockwork, and was made all of burnished copper.

  • She watched them running in circles like things on wheels and moving by clockwork.

    The Beach of Dreams H. De Vere Stacpoole
British Dictionary definitions for clockwork

clockwork

/ˈklɒkˌwɜːk/
noun
1.
the mechanism of a clock
2.
any similar mechanism, as in a wind-up toy
3.
like clockwork, with complete regularity and precision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clockwork
n.

also clock-work, 1660s, "mechanism of a clock," from clock (n.1) + work (n.). Figurative sense of "anything of unvarying regularity" is recorded earlier (1620s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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