See more synonyms for timer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that times.
  2. a person who measures or records time.
  3. a device for indicating or measuring elapsed time, as a stopwatch.
  4. a device for controlling machinery, appliances, or the like, in a specified way at a predetermined time: Please put the roast in the oven and set the timer to cook it for two hours.
  5. (in an internal-combustion engine) a set of points actuated by a cam, which causes the spark for igniting the charge at the instant required.

Origin of timer

First recorded in 1490–1500; time + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for timer

Contemporary Examples of timer

Historical Examples of timer

  • I suppose the rascally spy isn't still in this clump of timer, eh?

    The Dare Boys of 1776

    Stephen Angus Cox

  • It was two hours before I located the same, which was caused by the timer.

    The Prairie Mother

    Arthur Stringer

  • He jimmied the timer on the rocket motor so it would fire to the last drop.

    Far from Home

    J.A. Taylor

  • Two lights crossed the lenses of her eyes, but no timer could have caught them.

    Sunlight Patch

    Credo Fitch Harris

  • And have a man from the garage with extra tires and a timer for the carburetor.

    Eve to the Rescue

    Ethel Hueston

British Dictionary definitions for timer


  1. a device for measuring, recording, or indicating time
  2. a switch or regulator that causes a mechanism to operate at a specific time or at predetermined intervals
  3. a person or thing that times
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