m) KEY NOUN:
- A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
- An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: a long time since the last war; passed the time reading.
- A number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval: ran the course in a time just under four minutes.
- A similar number representing a specific point on this continuum, reckoned in hours and minutes: checked her watch and recorded the time, 6:17 a.m.
- A system by which such intervals are measured or such numbers are reckoned: solar time.
- An interval, especially a span of years, marked by similar events, conditions, or phenomena; an era. Often used in the plural: hard times; a time of troubles.
- times The present with respect to prevailing conditions and trends: You must change with the times.
- A suitable or opportune moment or season: a time for taking stock of one's life.
- Periods or a period designated for a given activity: harvest time; time for bed.
- Periods or a period necessary or available for a given activity: I have no time for golf.
- A period at one's disposal: Do you have time for a chat?
- An appointed or fated moment, especially of death or giving birth: He died before his time. Her time is near.
- One of several instances: knocked three times; addressed Congress for the last time before retirement.
- times Used to indicate the number of instances by which something is multiplied or divided: This tree is three times taller than that one. My library is many times smaller than hers.
- One's lifetime.
- One's period of greatest activity or engagement.
- A person's experience during a specific period or on a certain occasion: had a good time at the party.
- A period of military service.
- A period of apprenticeship.
- Informal A prison sentence.
- The customary period of work: hired for full time.
- The period spent working.
- The hourly pay rate: earned double time on Sundays.
- The period during which a radio or television program or commercial is broadcast: "There's television time to buy" (Brad Goldstein).
- The rate of speed of a measured activity: marching in double time.
- The meter of a musical pattern: three-quarter time.
- The rate of speed at which a piece of music is played; the tempo.
- Chiefly British The hour at which a pub closes.
- Sports A time-out.
TRANSITIVE VERB: timed
- Of, relating to, or measuring time.
- Constructed so as to operate at a particular moment: a time release.
- Payable on a future date or dates.
- Of or relating to installment buying: time payments.
IDIOMS: against time
- To set the time for (an event or occasion).
- To adjust to keep accurate time.
- To adjust so that a force is applied or an action occurs at the desired time: timed his swing so as to hit the ball squarely.
- To record the speed or duration of: time a runner.
- To set or maintain the tempo, speed, or duration of: time a manufacturing process.
at one time
- With a quickly approaching time limit: worked against time to deliver the manuscript before the deadline.
at the same time
- At a period or moment in the past.
- However; nonetheless.
behind the times
- On occasion; sometimes.
for the time being
- Out-of-date; old-fashioned.
from time to time
- Once in a while; at intervals.
in good time
- The appropriate or urgent time: It's high time that you started working.
in no time
- In a reasonable length of time.
- When or before due.
- Almost instantly; immediately.
- Before a time limit expires.
- Within an indefinite time; eventually: In time they came to accept the harsh facts.
- In the proper tempo.
- Played with a meter.
time after time
- According to schedule; punctual or punctually.
- By paying in installments.
time and again
- Again and again; repeatedly.
time of (one's) life
- Again and again; repeatedly.
time on (one's) hands
- A highly pleasurable experience: We had the time of our lives at the beach.
- An interval with nothing to do.
- There was once a time: "Time was when [urban gangs] were part of a . . . subculture that inner-city adolescence outgrew" (George F. Will).
Middle English, from Old English tma
; see d-
in Indo-European roots