American English

Definition of clock noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    clock

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//klɑk//
     
     
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  1. 1[countable] an instrument for measuring and showing time, in a room or on the wall of a building (not worn or carried like a watch) It was ten after six by the kitchen clock. The clock struck twelve/midnight. The clock is fast/slow. The clock has stopped. the clock face (= the front part of a clock with the numbers on it) The hands of the clock crept slowly around. Ellen heard the loud ticking of the clock in the hall. see also alarm clock, biological clock, body clock, carriage clock, cuckoo clock, grandfather clock, o'clock, time clock
  2. 2 the clock [singular] (informal) = odometer a used car with 20,000 miles on the clock
  3. Idioms
    against the clock
     
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    if you do something against the clock, you do it fast in order to finish before a particular time It was a race against the clock to get the building work finished in time.
    around the clock
     
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    all day and all night without stopping
    beat the clock
     
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    to finish a task, race, etc. before a particular time
    the clocks go forward/back
     
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    the time changes officially, for example at the beginning and end of summer
      put/turn/set the clock back
       
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    1. 1to return to a situation that existed in the past; to remember a past age I wish we could turn the clock back two years and give the marriage another chance.
    2. 2(disapproving) to return to old-fashioned methods or ideas The new censorship law will turn the clock back 50 years.
    a race against time/the clock
     
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    a situation in which you have to do something or finish something very fast before it is too late Getting food to the starving refugees is now a race against time.
    run down/run out/kill the clock
     
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    if a sports team tries to run down/out the clock or kill the clock at the end of a game, it stops trying to score and just tries to keep hold of the ball to stop the other team from scoring
    set/move the clocks ahead/back
     
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    to change the time shown by clocks, usually by one hour, when the time changes officially, for example at the beginning and end of summer Remember to set your clocks back tonight.
    stop the clock
     
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    to stop measuring time in a game or an activity that has a time limit
    watch the clock (disapproving)
     
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    to be careful not to work longer than the required time; to think more about when your work will finish than about the work itself
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: clock