[ uh-round-thuh-klok ]
/ əˈraʊnd ðəˈklɒk /


continuing without pause or interruption: an around-the-clock guard on the prisoner.

Nearby words

  1. arose,
  2. around,
  3. around the bend,
  4. around the corner,
  5. around the world in eighty days,
  6. arousal,
  7. arouse,
  8. arp,
  9. arp, jean,
  10. arpa

Origin of around-the-clock

First recorded in 1940–45


[ klok ]
/ klɒk /


verb (used with object)

to time, test, or determine by means of a clock or watch: The racehorse was clocked at two minutes thirty seconds.
Slang. to strike sharply or heavily: Somebody clocked him on the face.

Verb Phrases

clock in, to begin work, especially by punching a time clock: She clocked in at 9 on the dot.
clock out, to end work, especially by punching a time clock: He clocked out early yesterday.

Origin of clock

1350–1400; Middle English clok(ke) < Middle Dutch clocke bell, clock; akin to Old English clucge, Old High German glocka (German Glocke), Old Irish clocc bell; cf. cloak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for around the clock


/ (klɒk) /



Derived Formsclocker, nounclocklike, adjective

Word Origin for clock

C14: from Middle Dutch clocke clock, from Medieval Latin clocca bell, ultimately of Celtic origin


/ (klɒk) /


an ornamental design either woven in or embroidered on the side of a stocking

Word Origin for clock

C16: from Middle Dutch clocke, from Medieval Latin clocca bell

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

Word Origin and History for around the clock
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with around the clock


In addition to the idioms beginning with clock

  • clock in
  • clock is ticking, the
  • clock up

also see:

  • against the clock
  • beat the clock
  • clean someone's clock
  • like clock-work
  • set back (the clock)
  • stop someone's clock
  • stop the clock
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.