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clockwork

[klok-wurk]
See more synonyms for clockwork on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the mechanism of a clock.
  2. any mechanism similar to that of a clock.
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Idioms
  1. like clockwork, with perfect regularity or precision: The launching of the spacecraft went off like clockwork.
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Origin of clockwork

First recorded in 1620–30; clock1 + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

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
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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 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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper