- minutes/hours/years, etc.
- 1[uncountable] what is measured in minutes, hours, days, etc. The changing seasons mark the passing of time. A visit to the museum will take you back in time to the 1930s. time and space As time went by we saw less and less of each other. Perceptions change over time (= as time passes). They say that time heals all wounds. see also Father Time
- 2 [uncountable] the time shown on a clock in minutes and hours What time is it? Do you have the time? What time do you have? The time is now ten-thirty. Can she tell time yet (= say what time it is by looking at a clock)? My watch keeps perfect time (= always shows the correct time). Look at the time! We'll be late. This time tomorrowI'll be in Canada.
- 3 [uncountable] the time measured in a particular part of the world Greenwich Mean Time 6 o'clock local time see also daylight saving time, standard time
- 4 [uncountable, countable] the time when something happens or when something should happen What time do you finish work? The baby loves bath time. time (to do something) I think it's time to go to bed. This is hardly the time to discuss politics. time (for something) It's time for lunch. time (that)… It's time the kids were in bed. By the time you get there the meeting will be over. A computer screen shows arrival and departure times. The train arrived right on time (= at exactly the correct time). You'll feel differently about it when the time comes (= when it happens). Have I called at a bad time? Should I call back later? The promotion came at just the right time for me. We carry six different beers at any one time. see also anytime, closing time, drive time, nighttime period
- 5 [uncountable] time (to do something) an amount of time; the amount of time available to work, rest, etc. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport. I can probably make the time to see them. It takes time to make changes in the law. We have no time to lose (= we must hurry). We got to the airport with time to spare. He spends most of his time working. She doesn't have much free/spare time. Sorry, I can't spare the time. What a waste of time! I didn't finish the test—I ran out of time. Time's up—have you figured out the answer yet? He never takes any time off (= time spent not working). Jane's worked here for some time (= for a fairly long period of time). Do it now please—not in three hours' time (= three hours from now). The journey time is two hours. I don't want to take up too much of your precious time. What's the hurry? We have all the time in the world. see also response time
- 6a time [singular] a period of time, either long or short, during which you do something or something happens His injuries will take a long time to heal. Did you have to wait a long time to see the doctor? I lived in Egypt for a time. The early morning is the best time of day. Her parents died a long time ago. At one time (= at a period of time in the past) Emily was my best friend. Mr. Curtis was the manager in my time (= when I was working there).
- 7[uncountable, plural] a period of history connected with particular events or experiences in people's lives The movie is set at the time of the Russian revolution. in ancient times the violent times we live in (= the present period of history) the politician who promised “peace in our time” Times are hard for the unemployed. Times have changed since Grandma was young. see also old-time occasion/event
- 8 [countable] an occasion when you do something or when something happens Every timeI hear that song I feel happy. It doesn't matter if you don't win every time (= every time you play). Next time you're here let's have lunch together. He failed his driving test three times. He's determined to pass this time. When was the last time you saw her? How many times (= how often) do I have to tell you not to do that? I remember one time (= once) we had to abandon our car in the snow. (formal) At no time didI give my consent to the plan. To talk about the first or the last time you do something, use the first/last time (that) I…:This is the first time (that) I've been to Chicago.This is the first time for me to go to Chicago.That was the last time (that) I saw her.
- 9[countable] an event or occasion that you experience in a particular way Did you have a good time in Spain? I had an awful time in the hospital. Mike and I shared some really good times. for race
- 10[countable, uncountable] how long someone takes to run a race or complete an event The winner's time was 11.6 seconds. She completed the 500 meters in record time (= faster than any previous runner). one of the fastest times ever in music
- 11[uncountable] the number of beats in a bar/measure of music This piece is in four-four time. a slow waltz time The conductor beat time with a baton.
- 12[uncountable] the correct speed and rhythm of a piece of music Try and dance in time to the music (= with the same speed and rhythm). Clap your hands to keep time (= sing or play with the correct speed and rhythm). to play in/out of time (= follow/not follow the correct speed and rhythm) He always plays in perfect time. see also big time, small-time Idioms
- 1during the whole of a particular period of time The letter was in my pocket all the time (= while I was looking for it).
- 2very often; repeatedly She leaves the lights on all the time.
- 1at one time; together She was laughing and crying at the same time.
- 2used to introduce a contrasting fact, etc. that must be considered You have to be firm, but at the same time you should try and be sympathetic.
- 1happening before you were born or can remember or before you lived, worked, etc. somewhere “Were you taught by Professor Pascal?” “No, he was before my time.”
- 2before the usual time in someone's life when something happens synonym prematurely She got old before her time.
- 1to still be alive after the time when you were expected to die He's been living on borrowed time ever since his last heart attack.
- 2to be doing something that other people are likely to stop you from doing soon According to the latest opinion polls, the government is living on borrowed time.
- 1 to pass the time while you wait for something more interesting I'm just marking time in this job—I'm hoping to get into journalism.
- 2 (of soldiers) to make marching movements without moving forward
- 1to use as much time as you need without hurrying There's no rush—take your time.
- 2used to say you think someone is late or is too slow in doing something You certainly took your time getting here!
used to say that something should have happened before now
about timejump to other results
if you do something against time, you do it as fast as you can because you do not have much time They're working against time to try and get people out of the rubble alive.
against timejump to other results
earlier/later than was expected We finished 15 minutes ahead of time.
ahead of/behind timejump to other results
having advanced or new ideas that other people use or copy later
ahead of your timejump to other results
all the time, the whole timejump to other results
always Our representatives are ready to help you at all times.
at all timesjump to other results
even when the circumstances are very good He's never very happy at the best of times—he'll be much worse now!
at the best of timesjump to other results
at the same timejump to other results
separately or in groups of two, three, etc. on each occasion We had to go and see the principal one at a time. She ran up the stairs two at a time.
at a timejump to other results
at the age you are (especially when you are not young) Eyesight doesn't get any better at my time of life.
at my, your, his, etc. time of lifejump to other results
sometimes He can be really bad-tempered at times. The rain will become heavy at times in the afternoon.
at timesjump to other results
to mark or follow the rhythm of music, by waving a stick, tapping your foot, etc. She beat time with her fingers.
beat time (to something)jump to other results
before my, your, his, etc. timejump to other results
old-fashioned in your ideas, methods, etc.
behind the timesjump to other results
be (living) on borrowed timejump to other results
used to encourage someone who has not been successful at something
better luck next time (informal)jump to other results
to wait for the right time to do something He decided to bide his time until he got an opportunity to talk to her alone.
bide your timejump to other results
to do something in order to delay an event, a decision, etc. The negotiators kept the gunman talking to buy time for the hostages.
buy timejump to other results
a very difficult or unpleasant time I've had a devil of a time finding you.
a devil of a time (old-fashioned)jump to other results
to spend time in prison
do time (informal)jump to other results
whenever there is a choice I don't really like cities—give me the countryside every time.
every timejump to other results
to find yourself in a bad situation in which you have many problems, usually about money After he lost his job, Mark had fallen on hard times.
fall on hard timesjump to other results
if you do something for old times' sake, you do it because it is connected with something good that happened to you in the past
for old times' sakejump to other results
for a short period of time but not permanently You can leave your suitcase here for the time being.
for the time beingjump to other results
beginning on that day; from that time From that day forth she gave me endless friendship and encouragement.
from that day/time forth (literary)jump to other results
occasionally but not regularly She has to work on weekends from time to time.
from time to timejump to other results
to delay something so that you can have more time to make a decision, deal with a problem, etc.
gain timejump to other results
to deliberately make a situation difficult and unpleasant for someone They really gave me a hard time at the interview.
give somebody a hard timejump to other results
used to say that you prefer a particular thing or person to the one that has just been mentioned We don't go out much. Give me a quiet night in front of the TV any day!
give me something/somebody (any day/time) (informal)jump to other results
to have no difficulties or problems He's had an easy time of it since he married Lucy.
have an easy time (of it)jump to other results
to enjoy yourself very much
have a high old time (old-fashioned) (informal)jump to other results
to dislike someone or something I have no time for lazy people like Steve.
have no time for somebody/something, not have much time for somebody/something (informal)jump to other results
to enjoy yourself very much
have the time of your life (informal)jump to other results
to have nothing to do or not be busy
have time on your hands, have time to kill (informal)jump to other results
to enjoy yourself very much; to have a very good time The kids had a whale of a time at the amusement park.
have a whale of a time (informal)jump to other results
when enough time has passed synonym eventually It is possible that in the course of time a cure for cancer will be found.
in the course of timejump to other results
when the time is appropriate, usually after a long period I have no doubt that she'll tell us in the fullness of time.
in the fullness of timejump to other results
early; with enough time so that you are not in a hurry
in good timejump to other results
used to say that something will be done or will happen at the appropriate time and not before Be patient, Emily! All in good time.
(all) in good time (informal)jump to other results
at the very last moment; just in time before something bad happens They escaped from the smoke-filled house just in the nick of time.
in the nick of time (informal)jump to other results
so soon or so quickly that it is surprising The kids will be leaving home in no time.
in (less than/next to) no timejump to other results
how and when you want to, even though this might annoy other people He always does the work, but in his own sweet time.
in your own sweet time/wayjump to other results
when you are ready and not sooner Don't hassle him! He'll do it in his own good time.
in your own (good) time (informal)jump to other results
after a period of time when a situation has changed synonym eventually They learned to accept their stepmother in time.
in timejump to other results
not late; with enough time to be able to do something Will we be in time for the six o'clock train? The ambulance got there just in time (= to save someone's life).
in time (for something/to do something)jump to other results
used to say that you think someone should do something soon It's time you cleaned your room!
it's about/high time (informal)jump to other results
used to say that something will definitely happen, although you are not sure when It's only a matter of time before they bring out their own version of the software.
it's just/only a matter of time (before…)jump to other results
to change and develop your ideas, way of working, etc. so that you do what is modern and what is expected
keep up/move with the timesjump to other results
to spend time doing something that is not important while you are waiting for something else to happen We killed time playing cards.
kill time, kill an hour, a couple of hours, etc.jump to other results
used to say hello to someone you have not seen for a long time
long time no see (informal)jump to other results
to complete a journey quickly We made excellent time and arrived in Spain in two days.
make good, etc. timejump to other results
to do something quickly or very often because you wish you had started doing it sooner I'll have to work hard now to make up for lost time.
make up for lost timejump to other results
many times; frequently
many a time, many's the time (that)… (old-fashioned)jump to other results
mark timejump to other results
to change the way you think and behave according to changes in society Many complained that the Heritage Association had failed to move with the times.
move with the timesjump to other results
on the next, first, etc. occasion that the same thing happens He repeated none of the errors he'd made first time around. This time around it was not so easy.
(the) next, first, second, etc. time aroundjump to other results
used to say that something is usually true or almost always happens Nine times out of ten she gives the right answer.
nine times out of ten, ninety-nine times out of a hundredjump to other results
to refuse to speak to someone because you do not like or respect them Since the success of her novel, people shake her hand who once wouldn't have given her the time of day.
not give somebody the time of dayjump to other results
now is the best time to do something, not in the future
(there is) no time like the present (saying)jump to other results
that has ever existed Many rated him the best singer of all time. see also all-time
of all timejump to other results
used, especially at the beginning of stories, to mean “a long time in the past” Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess.
once upon a timejump to other results
in your free time and not when you usually work or study
on your own timejump to other results
to say hello to someone and have a short conversation with them
pass the time of day (with somebody)jump to other results
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.
a race against time/the clockjump to other results
something that you feel shows what things are like now, especially how bad they are The growing number of people who own guns is an alarming sign of the times.
a sign of the timesjump to other results
it is better to deal with something immediately because if you wait it may become worse or more difficult and cause extra work
a stitch in time (saves nine) (saying)jump to other results
to not think about what will happen in the future I don't know if he'll get better. We're just taking it one day at a time.
take it/things one day at a time (informal)jump to other results
take your time, take your time to do something/doing somethingjump to other results
to spend some time away from your usual work or activity in order to rest or do something else instead She is taking time out from her music career for a year. Thesaurusrestbreak respite time out breathing roomThese are all words for a short period of time spent relaxing.rest a period of relaxing, sleeping, or doing nothing after a period of activity:We stopped for a well-deserved rest.break a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest or eat:Let's take a break.respite a short break from something difficult or unpleasant:The medicine brought a brief respite from the pain.time out (informal) time for resting or relaxing away from your usual work or studies:Let's take (some) time out to gather our thoughts.breathing room a short rest in the middle of a busy period:I've got very little breathing room in my afternoon schedule.Patterns (a) rest/break/respite/time out from something to have/take (a) rest/break/time out to give somebody (a) rest/break/respite/breathing room
take time outjump to other results
the fact that something has not happened before does not mean that it will never happen
there's a first time for everything (saying) (humorous)jump to other results
used when you have failed to do something twice and hope that you will succeed the third time
third time is the charmjump to other results
often; on many or all occasions You will get a perfect result time after time if you follow these instructions.
time after time, time and (time) againjump to other results
one and a half times the usual rate of pay We get time and a half on Sundays. see also double time
time and a halfjump to other results
time seems to pass very quickly How time flies! I have to go now. Time has flown since the vacation began. This phrase is a translation of the Latin “tempus fugit.”
time flies (saying)jump to other results
time is valuable, and should not be wasted
time is money (saying)jump to other results
used to say that someone can wait for something to happen or can wait before doing something
time is on your sidejump to other results
used to say that something used to happen in the past Time was when you could go for a walk in the country and not see another person for miles.
time was (when)… (old-fashioned)jump to other results
used to say that you will have to wait for some time to find out the result of a situation Only time will tell if the treatment has been successful.
(only) time will tell (saying)jump to other results
= all the time
the whole timejump to other results