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[tikt] /tɪkt/
adjective, Slang.
angry; miffed.
Origin of ticked
First recorded in 1935-40; tick1 + -ed2


[tik] /tɪk/
a slight, sharp, recurring click, tap, or beat, as of a clock.
Chiefly British Informal. a moment or instant.
a small dot, mark, check, or electronic signal, as used to mark off an item on a list, serve as a reminder, or call attention to something.
Stock Exchange.
  1. a movement in the price of a stock, bond, or option.
  2. the smallest possible tick on a given exchange.
Manège. a jumping fault consisting of a light touch of a fence with one or more feet.
a small contrasting spot of color on the coat of a mammal or the feathers of a bird.
verb (used without object)
to emit or produce a tick, like that of a clock.
to pass as with ticks of a clock:
The hours ticked by.
verb (used with object)
to sound or announce by a tick or ticks:
The clock ticked the minutes.
to mark with a tick or ticks; check (usually followed by off); to tick off the items on the memo.
Verb phrases
tick off, Slang.
  1. to make angry:
    His mistreatment of the animals really ticked me off.
  2. Chiefly British. to scold severely:
    The manager will tick you off if you make another mistake.
what makes one tick, the motive or explanation of one's behavior:
The biographer failed to show what made Herbert Hoover tick.
1400-50; late Middle English tek little touch; akin to Dutch tik a touch, pat, Norwegian tikka to touch or shove slightly. See tickle
Can be confused
tic, tick. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ticked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The clock ticked and ticked, and 'twas so still you could hear every stroke of the pendulum.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It's ticked in red ink, if you'll take the trouble to look at it.'

    Young Mr. Barter's Repentance David Christie Murray
  • "Just got back to where we left you this morning," Jerry ticked off into the air.

  • A clock might have ticked twice while they sat or stood as though that were all there was to do.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • It can be ticked all through, and all around, with the thoughts of a man.

    The Voice of the Machines Gerald Stanley Lee
British Dictionary definitions for ticked


a recurrent metallic tapping or clicking sound, such as that made by a clock or watch
(Brit, informal) a moment or instant
a mark (✓) or dash used to check off or indicate the correctness of something
(commerce) the smallest increment of a price fluctuation in a commodity exchange. Tick size is usually 0.01% of the nominal value of the trading unit
to produce a recurrent tapping sound or indicate by such a sound: the clock ticked the minutes away
when tr, often foll by off. to mark or check (something, such as a list) with a tick
(informal) what makes someone tick, the basic drive or motivation of a person
See also tick off, tick over
Word Origin
C13: from Low German tikk touch; related to Old High German zekōn to pluck, Norwegian tikke to touch


any of various small parasitic arachnids of the families Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks), typically living on the skin of warm-blooded animals and feeding on the blood and tissues of their hosts: order Acarina (mites and ticks) See also sheep tick (sense 1) related adjective acaroid
any of certain other arachnids of the order Acarina
any of certain insects of the dipterous family Hippoboscidae that are ectoparasitic on horses, cattle, sheep, etc, esp the sheep ked
Word Origin
Old English ticca; related to Middle High German zeche tick, Middle Irish dega stag beetle


(Brit, informal) account or credit (esp in the phrase on tick)
Word Origin
C17: shortened from ticket


the strong covering of a pillow, mattress, etc
(informal) short for ticking
Word Origin
C15: probably from Middle Dutch tīke; related to Old High German ziecha pillow cover, Latin tēca case, Greek thēkē
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 ticked



parasitic blood-sucking arachnid animal, Old English ticia, from West Germanic *tik- (cf. Middle Dutch teke, Dutch teek, Old High German zecho, German Zecke "tick"), of unknown origin. French tique (mid-15c.), Italian zecca are Germanic loan-words.



mid-15c., "light touch or tap," probably from tick (v.) and cognate with Dutch tik, Middle High German zic, and perhaps echoic. Meaning "sound made by a clock" is probably first recorded 1540s; tick-tock is recorded from 1848.



"credit," 1640s, shortening of ticket (n.).



early 13c., "to touch or pat," perhaps from an Old English verb corresponding to tick (n.2), and perhaps ultimately echoic. Cf. Old High German zeckon "to pluck," Dutch tikken "to pat," Norwegian tikke "touch lightly." Related: Ticked; ticking.

To tick (someone) off is from 1915, originally "to reprimand, scold." The verbal phrase tick off was in use in several senses at the time: as what a telegraph instrument does when it types out a message (1873), as what a clock does in marking the passage of time (1846), to enumerate on one's fingers (1899), and in accountancy, etc., "make a mark beside an item on a sheet with a pencil, etc.," often indicating a sale (by 1881). This might be the direct source of the phrase, perhaps via World War I military bureaucratic sense of being marked off from a list as "dismissed" or "ineligible." Meaning "to annoy" is recorded from 1975.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ticked in Medicine

tick 2 (tĭk)

  1. Any of numerous small bloodsucking parasitic arachnids of the families Ixodidae and Argasidae, many of which transmit febrile diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

  2. Any of various usually wingless, louselike insects of the family Hippobosciddae that are parasitic on sheep, goats, and other animals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ticked in Science
Any of numerous small, parasitic arachnids of the suborder Ixodida that feed on the blood of animals. Like their close relatives the mites and unlike spiders, ticks have no division between cephalothorax and abdomen. Ticks differ from mites by being generally larger and having a sensory pit at the end of their first pair of legs. Many ticks transmit febrile diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ticked

ticked off

adj phr,adj

Angry; pissed off, tee'd off: Steve Kemp is ticked off (1959+)

tick 1


Credit: plenty of canned goods and plenty of tick at the store

[1642+; fr ticket]

tick 2


  1. A degree, esp of upward motion or increase; adiscrete amount: if the price would have stayed where it was or skipped up a few more ticks (1970+)
  2. Asecond; a JIFFY: I'll be there in a couple of ticks (1879+)

Related Terms

ricky-tick, uptick, what makes someone tick

tick 3

Related Terms

tight as a tick

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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Idioms and Phrases with ticked


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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