beat the clock

Finish something or succeed before time is up, as in The paper went to press at five o'clock, and they hurried to beat the clock. The term comes from various sports or races in which contestants compete within a certain time limit.


Nearby words

  1. beat poets,
  2. beat someone at his or her own game,
  3. beat the air,
  4. beat the band,
  5. beat the bushes for,
  6. beat the drum for,
  7. beat the dutch,
  8. beat the living daylights out of,
  9. beat the meat,
  10. beat the pants off

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.