- a period in the history of the world, or contemporary with the life or activities of a notable person: prehistoric times; in Lincoln's time.
- the period or era now or previously present: a sign of the times; How times have changed!
- a period considered with reference to its events or prevailing conditions, tendencies, ideas, etc.: hard times; a time of war.
- tempo; relative rapidity of movement.
- the metrical duration of a note or rest.
- proper or characteristic tempo.
- the general movement of a particular kind of musical composition with reference to its rhythm, metrical structure, and tempo.
- the movement of a dance or the like to music so arranged: waltz time.
verb (used with object), timed, tim·ing.
verb (used without object), timed, tim·ing.
- time after time,
- time and a half,
- time and motion study,
- time and tide wait for no man,
- time bill
- once; in a former time: At one time they owned a restaurant.
- at the same time; at once: They all tried to talk at one time.
- at the right time; on time; punctually.
- in advance of the right time; early: We arrived at the appointed spot in good time.
- early enough: to come in time for dinner.
- in the future; eventually: In time he'll see what is right.
- in the correct rhythm or tempo: There would always be at least one child who couldn't play in time with the music.
- to record time, as a watch or clock does.
- to mark or observe the tempo.
- to perform rhythmic movements in unison.
- to move quickly, especially in an attempt to recover lost time.
- to travel at a particular speed.
- to suspend progress temporarily, as to await developments; fail to advance.
- Military. to move the feet alternately as in marching, but without advancing.
- at the specified time; punctually.
- to be paid for within a designated period of time, as in installments: Many people are never out of debt because they buy everything on time.
Origin of time
- the continuous passage of existence in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, through the present, to a state of finality in the past
- (as modifier)time travel Related adjective: temporal
- a definite and measurable portion of this continuum
- (as modifier)time limit
- an accepted period such as a day, season, etc
- (in combination)springtime
- a customary or full period of work
- the rate of pay for this period
- the system of combining beats or pulses in music into successive groupings by which the rhythm of the music is established
- a specific system having a specific number of beats in each grouping or barduple time
- once; formerly
- nevertheless; however
- outside paid working hours
- at one's own rate
- early or at the appointed time
- music at a correct metrical or rhythmic pulse
- to find an opportunity
- (often foll by with) US informal to succeed in seducing
- at the expected or scheduled time
- US payable in instalments
Word Origin for time
Old English tima "limited space of time," from Proto-Germanic *timon "time" (cf. Old Norse timi "time, proper time," Swedish timme "an hour"), from PIE *di-mon-, from root *da- "cut up, divide" (see tide).
Abstract sense of "time as an indefinite continuous duration" is recorded from late 14c. Personified since at least 1509 as an aged bald man (but with a forelock) carrying a scythe and an hour-glass. In English, a single word encompasses time as "extent" and "point" (French temps/fois, German zeit/mal) as well as "hour" (e.g. "what time is it?" cf. French heure, German Uhr). Extended senses such as "occasion," "the right time," "leisure," or times (v.) "multiplied by" developed in Old and Middle English, probably as a natural outgrowth of phrases like, "He commends her a hundred times to God" (Old French La comande a Deu cent foiz).
to have a good time ( = a time of enjoyment) was common in Eng. from c 1520 to c 1688; it was app. retained in America, whence readopted in Britain in 19th c. [OED]
Time of day (now mainly preserved in negation, i.e. what someone won't give you if he doesn't like you) was a popular 17c. salutation (e.g. "Good time of day vnto your Royall Grace," "Richard III," I.iii.18). Times as the name of a newspaper dates from 1788. Time warp first attested 1954; time capsule first recorded 1938, in reference to New York World's Fair; time-traveling in the science fiction sense first recorded 1895 in H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine." To do time "serve a prison sentence" is from 1865. Time frame is attested by 1964; time line (also timeline) by 1890; time-limit is from 1880. About time, ironically for "long past due time," is recorded from 1920. Behind the times "old-fashioned" is recorded from 1846, first attested in Dickens.
Old English getimian "to happen, befall," from time (n.). Meaning "to appoint a time" (of an action, etc.) is attested from c.1300; sense of "to record the time of" (a race, event, etc.) is first attested 1660s. Related: Timed; timing.
- An interval separating two points of this quantity; a duration.
- A system or reference frame in which such intervals are measured or such quantities are calculated.
in good time
See in due course.
In a short time, quickly; also, earlier than expected. For example, We want to get home in good time for the broadcast, or They submitted the bis in good time. [Late 1500s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with time
- time after time
- time and a half
- time and tide wait for no man
- time bomb
- time flies
- time hangs heavy
- time immemorial
- time is money
- time is ripe
- time is up
- time of day
- time off
- time of one's life
- time on one's hands
- time out
- time out of mind
- time warp
- time was
- time will tell
- about time
- against the clock (time)
- ahead of one's time
- ahead of time
- all the time
- at all times
- at one time
- at one time or another
- at the same time
- at this point (in time)
- at times
- beat time
- behind in (time)
- behind the times
- bide one's time
- big time
- buy time
- call one's (time one's) own
- chow down (time)
- crunch time
- do time
- every time one turns around
- for the moment (time being)
- from time to time
- good-time Charlie
- hard time
- have a good time
- high time
- in between times
- in due course (of time)
- in good time
- in no time
- in the fullness of time
- in the nick of time
- in time
- keep time
- keep up (with the times)
- kill time
- less than (no time)
- long time no see
- lose time
- make good time
- make time
- make up for lost time
- many is the (time)
- mark time
- not give someone the time of day
- no time for
- no time like the present
- of one's life, time
- on borrowed time
- once upon a time
- one by one (at a time)
- on one's own time
- on time
- pass the time
- play for time
- point in time
- pressed for time
- serve time
- show someone a good time
- small time
- stitch in time
- take one's time
- take up space (time)
- tell time
- whale of a time