Definition of clock noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//klɒk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//klɑːk//
    Parts of a car, Devices
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  1. 1  [countable] an instrument for measuring and showing time, in a room, on the wall of a building or on a computer screen (not worn or carried like a watch) It was ten past 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) 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 See related entries: Devices
  2. 2the clock [singular] (informal) = milometer a used car with 20 000 miles on the clock See related entries: Parts of a car
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch klocke, based on medieval Latin clocca ‘bell’.Extra examples Her clock told her it was time to get up. His countdown clock reads forty seconds. I could hear a clock ticking somewhere in the house. I’ve set my alarm clock for six tomorrow. It’s ten o’clock by the kitchen clock. Let’s turn back the clock to the last decade. My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning. Pressing the 'Yes‘ or 'No‘ response button stops the clock. Pressing the buzzer stops the clock. That clock’s fast. The clock on the mantelpiece said twelve o’clock. The clock struck the hour. The clocks go back tonight. The player beat the clock and set a new record. This clock doesn’t keep time. With jet lag, your biological clock is out of synch with the actual time. employees who are always watching the clock to work against the clockIdioms 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. all day and all night without stopping to finish a task, race, etc. before a particular time
      clean somebody's clock (North American English, informal)
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    1. 1to beat somebody at something She really cleaned his clock in that debate.
    2. 2to physically attack someone Rosario delivered a blow that cleaned his clock, leaving him disabled.
    the clocks go forward/back
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    the time changes officially, for example at the beginning and end of summer
      put/turn 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.
    put the clocks forward/back (British English) (North American English 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 put your clocks back tonight.
    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.
    (US English) if a sports team tries to run down/out 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 compare time-wasting to stop measuring time in a game or an activity that has a time limit (disapproving) 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 also clock-watcher
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: clock