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tick over

verb (intransitive, adverb)
(Brit) Also idle. (of an engine) to run at low speed with the throttle control closed and the transmission disengaged
to run smoothly without any major changes: keep the firm ticking over until I get back
  1. the speed of an engine when it is ticking over
  2. (as modifier): tick-over speed
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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Slang definitions & phrases for tick over

tick over

verb phrase

To idle; barely run; operate very slowly: The motor was just ticking over (1916+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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