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mark time

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Wait idly for something to occur, as in We were just marking time until we received our instructions. This idiom alludes to the literal meaning of marching in place to the time, or beat, of music. [Early 1800s]

QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use mark time in a sentence

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