Learner's definition of TIME
1 [noncount] : the thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc.
The time passed slowly/quickly.
The two events were separated by time and space.
The poem is a reflection on the passage/passing of time.
What was happening at that particular moment in time?
At this point in time, we have not made a decision. [=we have not yet made a decision]
It has been that way since the beginning of time.
If only I could travel back in time and do things differently.
They were given a relatively short amount of time to finish the job.
The situation has been getting more complicated as time goes by/on.
In the course of time [=as time passed], people learned to accept the changes.
The medicine is released in small amounts over time. [=it is released slowly]
Her condition should improve with time. [=it should become better as time passes]
happening for an extended period of time
The study took place over a time span of 20 years. [=the study continued for 20 years]
2 a [singular] : a particular minute or hour shown by a clock
b [noncount] : the time in a particular area or part of the world
What time is it? = (chiefly Brit) What's the time?
The time is 6:15. [=it is 6:15]
I'll see you tomorrow, same time, same place. = I'll see you here this time tomorrow.
Would you prefer the meeting to be at an earlier time?
Feel free to call me at any time, day or night.
What time did you leave work? [=when did you leave work?]
They arrived at the appointed/agreed-on time. [=hour]
Do you know the time? = (chiefly US) Do you have the time? = (chiefly Brit) Have you got the time?
(US) What time do you have? = (Brit) What time do you make it? [=what time is it?]
“Look at the time! We have to go.”
3 a : the part of a day, week, month, or year when something usually happens or is scheduled to happen
[count] b [count] : a particular part of a day, week, month, or year
He has to go to the classes at certain times of the month.
There was snow on the ground at this time last year.
It's unusually hot for this time of year. [=season]
My favorite times of year are spring and fall.
4 [count] : an occurrence of an action or event : an instance of something happening or of someone doing something
She's already seen the movie several times.
He told us the story about the time he bought his first car.
Do you remember the time we got lost in Washington, D.C.?
Take one pill two times daily [=take one pill twice each day] for seven days.
This is my first time on an airplane. [=I have never been on an airplane before]
He ran for governor for the second time in 1980.
I cry each/every time [=whenever] I hear that song.
Remember to buckle up your seatbelt each and every time you ride in a car.
I'll come by the next time I'm in town.
The last time I saw him [=the most recent time that I saw him] was at his wedding.
Okay, I'll do it again one last time.
For the last time, please stop! = This is the last time I'm going to tell you: please stop!
Would you please do it one more time? [=again, once more]
How many times do I have to tell you? I don't know where it is!
I've told you many times not to do that. = I've told you a hundred/thousand/million times not to do that.
Don't worry about it. We've all made that same mistake many a time. = Many's the time we have made that same mistake.
“This time you've gone too far!” he said.
She beats me at chess nine times out of ten. [=for every ten games we play, she beats me nine times]
They may have lost their last championship game, but they're determined to win the next time around/round.
We're going to win this time out.
One time [=once, (more formally) on one occasion] I came home two hours late and nobody noticed.
5 a [singular] : the period of time when something happens
— often used after at
I had lived in 12 different cities by the time I turned 18. [=when I was 18 years old, I had already lived in 12 different cities]
She had known that she wanted to be President from the time [=since] she was seven years old.
Since that time, the government has done much to fix the problem.
If you're busy now, perhaps we can get together at another time.
At no time did the defendant ask for a lawyer. [=the defendant never asked for a lawyer]
It was raining at the time of the accident. [=it was raining when the accident happened]
This information was correct at the time of publication.
He was elected pope in 1978, at which time he took the name John Paul.
— see also at the same time (below), at times (below) b [count] : the exact moment when a particular event happens or is scheduled to happen
Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. [=the performance begins at 7:30 p.m.]
What is the movie's starting time? [=when does the movie start?]
The patient's time of death was 2:15 a.m.
He called to give me his flights' departure/arrival times. [=the times when his flights are scheduled to depart/arrive]
The network moved my favorite television show to a different time slot.
6 : a period of time when a situation or set of conditions exists : a period of minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc., when something is happening or someone is doing something
— often + when — often used after at
I can't remember a time that/when I've been happier.
She helped me in my time of need. [=she helped me when I needed help]
He is someone you can depend on in times of crisis.
He sat down to rest, and after a time [=while] he continued on his way.
She served in the military for a time in her early twenties.
No one spoke to us the entire/whole time we were there.
We will be able to stay here only a short time.
I haven't seen you in such a long time!
It took them a long time to find out what was causing the problem.
His promotion was a long time coming. [=he waited a long time to be promoted]
It happened a long time ago.
She was calm at a time when everyone else was panicking.
Sometimes this helps, while at other times it makes things worse.
No more than five people should ride in the car at any one time.
There are between 200 and 300 patients in the hospital at any given time.
How could you think about food at a time like this?
At one time [=during one period of time in the past], 20 people lived together in this house.
Everyone has experienced this feeling at one time or another.
At the present time [=presently, right now], we don't know why it happened. = We don't know why it happened at this time.
Some time ago [=at some point in the past], I read that the restaurant had closed.
She has been living there for (quite) some time. [=for a somewhat long time]
I get sick if I sit in the back seat of a car for any length of time. [=for more than a very small amount of time]
7 [noncount] : the number of minutes, days, years, etc., before something happens : the amount of time it takes for something to happen — usually used after in
The movie is coming out in two months' time. [=it is coming out two months from now]
They expect the system to be completely replaced in a few years' time.
This machine can have the job finished in half the time (it would take you to do it by hand).
It can do the job in a fraction of the time. [=it can do the job much more quickly]
It's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt. [=someone will get hurt eventually]
The police will catch him. It's only a question of time. [=the police will catch him at some point in the future]
8 [noncount] : the amount of time that is used, needed, available, or allowed for a particular activity or for someone to do something
— often used with save
You must complete the project within the time allotted.
I'll try not to take up too much of your time.
Thank you for your time. [=thank you for listening to me]
It's not worth your time and energy.
Is there (enough) time to stop for lunch?
What do you do in your free/spare time? [=when you are not working]
We played games to pass/kill the time on the bus. [=we played games to cause time to seem to go by more quickly]
How much more time do we have (left)? = How are we doing on/for time?
We're pressed for time. [=we don't have much time left to do what we need to do]
We ran out of time and didn't finish the project. [=we had no more time to work on the project]
Time's up. [=the allowed period of time has ended] Please put down your pencils and hand in your tests.
They finished with time to spare. [=they finished early]
We're using up valuable/precious time talking when we could be getting started.
The candidates will receive equal time to answer questions during the debate.
Her teammates were complaining about their lack of playing time. [=the amount of time that they were allowed to play during a game]
Sometimes she would drop by to pass the time of day. [=to have a friendly and informal conversation]
She's had a lot of time on her hands [=time when she was not busy] lately.
He can't manage to find (the) time to exercise.
— often used with lose — often used with spend — often used with waste
This new system will save time [=take less time, be faster] and money.
We can save a lot of time by using this shortcut.
— often followed by to + verb
Stop wasting time [=doing nothing or doing something that is not useful] and get to work!
They wasted no time in decorating their new apartment. [=they started decorating it immediately]
That class was a (big) waste of time. [=the class was not good] I didn't learn a thing.
If we leave now, there's just (enough) time to catch the last show.
There's no time to explain. I'll have to tell you why later.
In the time it takes you to read one chapter, she can read the entire book.
We will have plenty of time to buy souvenirs later.
I haven't had much time to think about it.
We have to hurry. There's no time to lose. [=we have little time, so we cannot waste any of it]
9 : the right moment to do something or for something to happen
— often followed by to + verb — often used with come
This is no time for jokes.
The time for talking has passed. We must take action now.
There is a time and a place for everything.
Am I calling at a bad time? [=are you too busy to talk to me?]
Is this a good time for you?
This is as good a time as any.
“Should we do it now?” “Sure. There's no time like the present.” [=let's do it now]
We feel that the time has come for a decision to be made.
When the time comes to move out of their apartment, they will have saved up enough money to buy a house.
There comes a time when children leave their parents and start families of their own.
an idea whose time has come [=an idea that is ready to be used]
10 [count] : the quality of a person's experience on a particular occasion or during a particular period
We all had a good/great/lovely time at the concert. [=we enjoyed the concert very much]
Did you have a good time?
A good time was had by all.
Try to remember the good times you had together rather than the bad times.
Their music helped me get through some difficult/hard/rough/tough times in my life.
He looked like he was having the time of his life. [=enjoying himself very much; having a lot of fun]
They've been having a hard time finding an apartment in the city.
11 [count] : a specific period in the past
— often used after in
It happens more now than at any other time in history.
The writings date back to the time of Shakespeare. [=the period of time when Shakespeare was alive]
Like most families at/of/during that time, they had only one car.
There was a time when people could let their children play outside without worrying about their safety.
He was a famous comedian of the/that time.
The bridge was built around the time of World War I.
It was the most important book of its time.
He is one of the greatest actors of our time. [=of the present day]
Life was very different at that time. [=then]
People have been creating art since time immemorial. [=for a very long time]
— often used in the titles of books, newspapers, etc.
Things were very different in your grandparents' time. [=day]
I've seen a lot of crazy things in my time. [=during my life]
She was a legend in her own time. [=she was someone who was very famous and admired while she was still alive]
The tools were known to be in use in medieval/ancient/prehistoric times.
In earlier times, this road was an important trade route.
farming methods used in times past [=in the past]
12 a : the conditions experienced by a group of people now or during a particular period in the past
b : the styles, events, or ideas that are popular or important in a culture now or at a particular period in the past
The country is facing some difficult/trying times.
Those were lean times, and our family couldn't afford new clothes.
Life can be difficult even at/in the best of times.
Companies must change/evolve/move with the times or risk losing their customers.
In this business, you have to keep up with the times. [=stay current; change as conditions change]
Times have changed since then.
Come on. Get with the times. [=understand and change to fit what is now happening and accepted in the culture]
Their methods are behind the times. [=outdated]
13 a [count] : a period or stage in a person's life b [singular] : the time when a woman gives birth to a child c [singular] : the time when someone dies 14 a [singular] : the number of months, years, etc., that a person spends at a particular place or in a particular group or organization b [singular] : the number of months or years that an active member of the military is required to stay in the military
c [noncount], informal : the number of days, months, or years that a person must stay in prison
She plans on going to college after she serves her time in the army. = She plans on going to college after she puts in her time in the army.
He was an ex-soldier who did his time in Vietnam. [=he fought in Vietnam while he was a soldier]
15 [count] : the seconds, minutes, etc., it takes to do something (such as finish a race)
She ran the mile in a time of 5 minutes and 15 seconds.
What was my time? [=how long did it take me to do it?]
He finished in record time. [=in the least amount of time ever]
16 [noncount] : the minutes, hours, or days that a person works or is required to work for a company : the time during which a company is paying a worker
She has been putting in a lot of time [=she has been working a lot] at the office.
I'll ask my supervisor if I can take time off (work) to go to the dentist.
She took time out from her career to raise her children. [=she stopped working while she raised her children]
(US) Employees need to make personal calls on their own time. = (Brit) Employees need to make personal calls in their own time. [=when their employer is not paying them to work]
(US) Please do not make personal calls (when you are) on company time. = (Brit) Please do not make personal calls (when you are) in company time. [=when your employer is paying you to work]
17 times [plural] — used to say how much bigger, smaller, faster, etc., something is than something else
Her salary is five times greater than mine. = She earns five times as much money as I do.
The area received three times the amount of rain it got last year.
You would have to spend two times [=twice] as much at a regular department store.
Their original investment has paid for itself many times over.
18 a : the rate of speed at which a piece of music is performed
— see also keep time 2 (below) b : the way that beats are grouped together in a piece of music — often used after in
If a song is in 3/4 time, that means that there are three beats per bar/measure and that each of those beats is a quarter note.
a dance performed in 4/4 time with a quick tempo
◊ If you are racing/working (etc.) against time or are in a race against time, you are doing something quickly because you have only a small amount of time.
We're working against time to finish this book.
They raced against time to get her to the hospital.
It was a race against time to find a cure for the disease.
ahead of time
: before something happens : earlier than a time or event
ahead of your/its time
◊ If you are ahead of your time or if your ideas, creations, etc., are ahead of their time, you are too advanced or modern to be understood or appreciated during the time when you live or work.
(all) in good time
: when the appropriate moment arrives : when the time is right
all (of) the time
2 informal : very often or frequently
“Do you ever take the subway to work?” “Yeah, all the time.”
My sisters and I used to fight all of the time.
usuallyall the time : since something began
We thought that he disliked her, while all the time [=(more commonly) all along, the whole time] he was in love with her.
I knew the truth all the time.
The police knew all the time who was guilty.
(and) not before time (too)chiefly British
— used to say that something should have happened sooner
a stitch in time (saves nine)
at all times
: without stopping or changing at any time : always
at a time
1 : during one particular moment
I can only do one thing at a time. [=at once]
Please speak one at a time. [=so that only one person is speaking at any time]
We carried the boxes two at a time up the stairs. [=we carried two boxes each time we went up the stairs]
2 : during one period of time without stopping 3
◊ If you take one day at a time or take it/things one day at a time, you make progress in a slow and careful way by dealing with each day as it comes.
at the same time
1 : during the same moment
She was driving, eating, and talking on the phone all at the same time.
She tries to appear to be both glamorous and modest at the same time.
As a parent, he is at one and the same time strict and loving. [=he is both strict and loving]
2 — used to introduce a statement that adds to and differs from a preceding statement
The new regulations will help the environment. At the same time [=on the other hand], they may be a burden to businesses.
She wants more respect, but at the same time she does nothing to earn it. = She wants more respect, while at the same time doing nothing to earn it.
He is an intelligent person, but he can be quite stubborn at times. [=from time to time]
At times, I wondered if we were doing the right thing.
before your time
1 — used to say that something happened before you were born or before you were involved in some activity 2
◊ If you become old before your time, you look and feel older than you are.
◊ If you die before your time, you die at a younger age than you should.
behind the times
: not having or showing knowledge of current ideas or styles : outdated
be living on borrowed time
1 US, sports : to ask for a time-out : to give the order for a time-out
2 a : to announce that it is time for a bar or pub to close b : to say or decide that something has ended : to end something — usually + on
for the time being
: during the present time but possibly not in the future
I think we should stay here for the time being. [=for now]
For the time being, this car suits all of our family's needs.
from time to time
Such things are bound to happen from time to time. [=at times]
From time to time [=occasionally, once in a while], it's nice to let someone else make the decisions.
give (someone) a hard time
1 : to be able to use an amount of time for a particular purpose
— often followed by to + verb
“Can you go to the store for me?” “I'm sorry, but I don't have time.” [=I'm too busy]
Unfortunately, I haven't got (the) time.
We're on a deadline, but he acts like we have all the time in the world!
— often + for
I didn't have time to read the whole book.
Do you have time to look this over for me?
We haven't had any time to talk about it yet.
We don't have time for this nonsense!
I don't have the time or the patience for this.
Do we have enough time for another drink?
We've got time for a few more questions.
2 : to like or be willing to spend time dealing with (something or someone) — usually + for
1 : before something happens : early enough — often followed by to + verb — often + for 2 : when an amount of time has passed
in your own (good) time
: at the time that is right or appropriate for you and not sooner
it's about timeinformal
— used to say often in an annoyed way that something should have happened sooner
It's about time you got here. I've been waiting for over an hour!
“They're getting married.” “Well, it's about time!”
1 of a watch or clock : to show the correct time 2 music : to perform music at the correct speed
make good time
: to travel somewhere quickly
: to cause an amount of time to be available for an activity — often + for
She has trouble making time in her busy schedule for exercise.
No matter how busy he was, Grandpa always made time for us.
most of the timeormost times
: on most occasions : usually
Sometimes I go out for lunch, but most of the time I bring my own lunch to work.
Most times, this method works just fine.
ninety/ninety-nine (etc.) percent of the time
not give someone the time of day
◊ If you do not give someone the time of day, you do not give that person any attention or help.
of all time
: that has ever lived or existed
(only) time will tell
— used to say that the results of a situation will be known only after a certain amount of time has passed
: at or before the correct moment : at a time that is not late
Try to be there on time.
I paid all of my bills on time [=when they were due] this month.
Please hand in your homework on time.
We arrived right on time. [=exactly at the right time]
take (the) time to do something
: to use an amount of time in order to do something important
They never took the time to get to know her.
Take (the) time to think about it before you make a decision.
I took some time to think about it, and my answer is still “no.”
◊ People say that something takes some/no (etc.) time to describe how much time is needed for something to happen or be done.
You have to be patient. Things like this take time. [=things like this cannot be done quickly]
It may take some time for the medication to wear off.
The meeting won't take too much time. [=the meeting will be short]
This project will take a lot of time.
It'll take no time at all. = It will take very little time.
take your time
: to do something slowly or without hurrying
I need to take my time and think about it for a while.
There's no need to hurry. Take your time. [=take all the time you need]
Please take your time filling out the form.
tell time(US)or Britishtell the time
: to be able to know what time it is by looking at a clock
the whole time
1 : since something began : during the entire period of time
We thought that he disliked her, while the whole time [=all along, all the time] he was in love with her.
I knew the truth the whole time.
The police knew the whole time who was guilty.
3 British, informal : very often
time after timeortime and againortime and time again
: on many occasions : very often or frequently
Time after time, we see this happen with our patients.
I've told you time and again [=repeatedly] not to do that.
— used to say that time passes quickly
As they say, “Time flies when you're having fun.”
Your son is in high school already? My, how time flies!
time heals all woundsor chiefly Britishtime is a/the great healer
— used to say that feelings of sadness, disappointment, etc., gradually go away as time passes
time is (not) on your side
◊ If time is on your side, you have a good chance of success because you can wait until a situation improves. If time is not on your side, your chance of success is less because you have to do something very soon.
House prices are all dropping, and in the case of home buyers, time is on their side. [=the houses that people want to buy will become cheaper as more time passes]
If we wait too long to buy the tickets, the concert may be sold out: time is not on our side. [=all the tickets may be sold if we wait too long to buy them]
time was (when)old-fashioned
— used to say that something was true in the past and usually to express annoyance that it is no longer true
Time was, you could buy a candy bar for a nickel.
Time was when people respected their elders. [=people used to respect their elders in the past]
until such time asformal
: until the time when : until
your (own) sweet timechiefly US, informal
◊ If you do something in your (own) sweet time or you take your (own) sweet time about doing something, you do it slowly even though other people want you to do it more quickly.
times; timed; timing
times; timed; timing
Learner's definition of TIME
1 : to choose the hour, day, month, etc., when (something) will happen : to schedule (something, such as an event) to happen at a particular time — often used as (be) timed 2 sports : to cause (something, such as a throw or pass) to happen at a certain moment 3 : to measure the amount of time needed by someone to do something (such as to finish a race)