English Dictionary

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time (taɪm Pronunciation for time



    1. the continuous passage of existence in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, through the present, to a state of finality in the past
    2. (as modifier)   ⇒ time travel related adjective temporal
  1. (physics) a quantity measuring duration, usually with reference to a periodic process such as the rotation of the earth or the vibration of electromagnetic radiation emitted from certain atoms. In classical mechanics, time is absolute in the sense that the time of an event is independent of the observer. According to the theory of relativity it depends on the observer's frame of reference. Time is considered as a fourth coordinate required, along with three spatial coordinates, to specify an event See caesium clock, second2 (sense 1), space-time
  2. a specific point on this continuum expressed in terms of hours and minutes   ⇒ the time is four o'clock
  3. a system of reckoning for expressing time   ⇒ Greenwich mean time
    1. a definite and measurable portion of this continuum
    2. (as modifier)   ⇒ time limit
    1. an accepted period such as a day, season, etc
    2. (in combination)   ⇒ springtime
  4. an unspecified interval; a while   ⇒ I was there for a time
  5. (often plural) a period or point marked by specific attributes or events   ⇒ the Victorian times, time for breakfast
  6. a sufficient interval or period   ⇒ have you got time to help me?
  7. an instance or occasion   ⇒ I called you three times
  8. an occasion or period of specified quality   ⇒ have a good time, a miserable time
  9. the duration of human existence
  10. the heyday of human life   ⇒ in her time she was a great star
  11. a suitable period or moment   ⇒ it's time I told you
  12. the expected interval in which something is done   ⇒ the flying time from New York to London was seven hours
  13. a particularly important moment, esp childbirth or death   ⇒ her time had come
  14. (plural) indicating a degree or amount calculated by multiplication with the number specified   ⇒ ten times three is thirty, he earns four times as much as me
  15. (often plural) the fashions, thought, etc, of the present age (esp in the phrases ahead of one's time, behind the times)
  16. (British) (in bars, pubs, etc) short for closing time
  17. (informal) a term in jail (esp in the phrase do time)
    1. a customary or full period of work
    2. the rate of pay for this period
  18. Also (esp US): metre
    1. the system of combining beats or pulses in music into successive groupings by which the rhythm of the music is established
    2. a specific system having a specific number of beats in each grouping or bar   ⇒ duple time
  19. (music) short for time value
  20. (prosody) a unit of duration used in the measurement of poetic metre; mora
  21. See against time

  22. See ahead of time

  23. See all in good time

  24. See all the time

  25. See at one time

  26. See at the same time

  27. See at times

  28. See beat time

  29. See before one's time

  30. See for the time being

  31. See from time to time

  32. See gain time

  33. See have no time for

  34. See in good time

  35. See in no time

  36. See in one's own time

  37. See in time

  38. See keep time

  39. See lose time

  40. See lose no time

  41. See make time

  42. See mark1 (sense 35)
  43. See in the nick of time

  44. See on time

  45. See pass the time of day

  46. See time about

  47. See time and again

  48. See time off

  49. See time on

  50. See time out of mind

  51. See time of one's life

  52. (modifier) operating automatically at or for a set time, for security or convenience   ⇒ time lock, time switch

verb (transitive)

  1. to ascertain or calculate the duration or speed of
  2. to set a time for
  3. to adjust to keep accurate time
  4. to pick a suitable time for
  5. (sport) to control the execution or speed of (an action, esp a shot or stroke) so that it has its full effect at the right moment


  1. the word called out by a publican signalling that it is closing time

Word Origin

Old English tīma; related to Old English tīd time, Old Norse tīmi, Alemannic zīme; see tide1


View thesaurus entry
= period, while, term, season, space, stretch, spell, phase, interval, span, period of time, stint, duration, length of time, time frame, timeline
= age, days, era, year, date, generation, duration, epoch, chronology, aeon
= experience, life, conditions, circumstances
= tempo, beat, rhythm, measure, metre
= lifetime, day, life, season, duration, life span, allotted span
= heyday, prime, peak, hour, springtime, salad days, best years or days
= schedule, set, plan, book, programme, set up, fix, arrange, line up, organize, timetable, slate, fix up, prearrange

Quotations including 'time'

  • "But meanwhile it is flying, irretrievable time is flying" [Virgil
  • "Time is the best medicine" [Ovid
  • "Every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity" [Marcus Aurelius
  • "Wait for that wisest of Counsellors, Time" [Pericles]
  • "To every thing there is a season, and a timeto every purpose under heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die ...A time to love, and a time to hate;A time of war, and a time of peace" [Bible: Ecclesiastes]
  • "Come what may,Time and the hour runs through the roughest day" [William Shakespeare
  • "Time, the subtle thief of youth" [John Milton
  • "Remember that time is money" [Benjamin Franklin
  • "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them" [Dion Boucicault
  • "The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time" [W.B. Yeats
  • "Time goes, you say? Ah, no!Alas, Time stays, we go" [Henry Austin Dobson
  • "Time rushes by and yet time is frozen. Funny how we get so exact about time at the end of life and at its beginning" [Sister Helen Prejean]
  • "Time and tide wait for no man"
  • "Time flies (tempus fugit)"
  • "Time is a great healer"
  • "Time will tell"

Translations for 'time'

  • British English: timePronunciation for time Time is how long something takes to happen. We measure time in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.I've known him for a long time.taɪm NOUNhow long something takes to happen
  • Arabic: وَقْتPronunciation for وَقْت
  • Brazilian Portuguese: tempoPronunciation for tempoperíodo
  • Chinese: 时间Pronunciation for 时间
  • Croatian: vrijemePronunciation for vrijeme
  • Czech: časPronunciation for čas
  • Danish: tidPronunciation for tid
  • Dutch: tijdPronunciation for tijd
  • European Spanish: tiempoPronunciation for tiempoduración
  • Finnish: aikaPronunciation for aikaabstrakti käsite
  • French: tempsPronunciation for tempsdurée
  • German: ZeitPronunciation for Zeit
  • Greek: χρόνοςPronunciation for χρόνος
  • Italian: tempoPronunciation for tempo
  • Japanese: 時間Pronunciation for 時間
  • Korean: 시간Pronunciation for 시간
  • Norwegian: tidPronunciation for tid
  • Polish: czasPronunciation for czasokres trwania
  • Portuguese: tempoPronunciation for tempoperíodo
  • Romanian: durată durate
  • Russian: времяPronunciation for время
  • Spanish: tiempoPronunciation for tiempomagnitud física
  • Swedish: tidPronunciation for tid
  • Thai: เวลาPronunciation for เวลา
  • Turkish: zamanPronunciation for zaman
  • Ukrainian: час
  • Vietnamese: thời gianPronunciation for thời gian
  • British English: timetaɪm The time is a moment in the day that you describe in hours and minutes.`What time is it?' — `Ten past five.' NOUNcurrent
  • Arabic: وَقْت
  • Brazilian Portuguese: hora
  • Chinese: 时间
  • Croatian: vrijeme
  • Czech: doba
  • Danish: klokken
  • Dutch: tijd
  • European Spanish: hora
  • Finnish: aika
  • French: heure
  • German: Uhrzeit
  • Greek: ώρα
  • Italian: ora
  • Japanese: 時刻
  • Korean: 시간
  • Norwegian: tid
  • Polish: godzina
  • Portuguese: tempo
  • Romanian: ora oredespre ceas
  • Russian: время
  • Spanish: hora
  • Swedish: klockan
  • Thai: เวลา
  • Turkish: saat
  • Ukrainian: час
  • Vietnamese: giờ

Example Sentences Including 'time'

At the same time I was kind of playing with the buttons of her shirt, undoing them slowly, waiting for the conversation to dissolve.
Hugo Wilcken THE EXECUTION (2002)
But there's a wide-ranging clientele looking to rent quality accommodation for any length of time.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
For a short time Elizabeth Blackwell was its professor of gynaecology.
Jim Leavesley, George Biro THE MEDICAL MYSTERIES E-OMNIBUS (2001)
He deals in black and white and seeks to bring his team to the boil at the key time.
Irish Times (2002)
I could feel myself relaxing slightly for the first time that day, maybe for the first time in weeks.
Hugo Wilcken THE EXECUTION (2002)
I thought about getting married: I realised that I actually wanted to, for the first time in my life.
Hugo Wilcken THE EXECUTION (2002)
They're all the same these -' This time it was James who made the interruption, stretching out his hand.
Country Life (2004)
We cannot afford to have these ridiculous rows every time a Scottish politician goes abroad.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
We pull from around 50 players and football championships are a rarity here - I think Diarmuid's father played last time we won.
Irish Times (2002)


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