—n. 1. the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.
2. duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity; finite duration.
3. (sometimes cap.) a system or method of measuring or reckoning the passage of time: mean time; apparent time; Greenwich Time. 4. a limited period or interval, as between two successive events: a long time. 5. a particular period considered as distinct from other periods: Youth is the best time of life. 6. Often, times. a. a period in the history of the world, or contemporary with the life or activities of a notable person: prehistoric times; in Lincoln's time. b. the period or era now or previously present: a sign of the times; How times have changed! c. a period considered with reference to its events or prevailing conditions, tendencies, ideas, etc.: hard times; a time of war. 7. a prescribed or allotted period, as of one's life, for payment of a debt, etc.
8. the end of a prescribed or allotted period, as of one's life or a pregnancy: His time had come, but there was no one left to mourn over him. When her time came, her husband accompanied her to the delivery room. 9. a period with reference to personal experience of a specified kind: to have a good time; a hot time in the old town tonight. 10. a period of work of an employee, or the pay for it; working hours or days or an hourly or daily pay rate.
11. Informal.a term of enforced duty or imprisonment: to serve time in the army; do time in prison. 12. the period necessary for or occupied by something: The time of the baseball game was two hours and two minutes. The bus takes too much time, so I'll take a plane. 13. leisure time; sufficient or spare time: to have time for a vacation; I have no time to stop now. 14. a particular or definite point in time, as indicated by a clock: What time is it? 15. a particular part of a year, day, etc.; season or period: It's time for lunch. 16. an appointed, fit, due, or proper instant or period: a time for sowing; the time when the sun crosses the meridian; There is a time for everything. 17. the particular point in time when an event is scheduled to take place: train time; curtain time. 18. an indefinite, frequently prolonged period or duration in the future: Time will tell if what we have done here today was right. 19. the right occasion or opportunity: to watch one's time. 20. each occasion of a recurring action or event: to do a thing five times; It's the pitcher's time at bat. 21. times,used as a multiplicative word in phrasal combinations expressing how many instances of a quantity or factor are taken together: Two goes into six three times; five times faster. 22. Drama.one of the three unities. Cf. unity (def. 8).
23. Pros.a unit or a group of units in the measurement of meter.
24. Music. a. tempo; relative rapidity of movement.
b. the metrical duration of a note or rest.
c. proper or characteristic tempo.
d. the general movement of a particular kind of musical composition with reference to its rhythm, metrical structure, and tempo.
e. the movement of a dance or the like to music so arranged: waltz time. 25. Mil.rate of marching, calculated on the number of paces taken per minute: double time; quick time. 26. Manège.each completed action or movement of the horse.
27. against time, in an effort to finish something within a limited period: We worked against time to get out the newspaper. 28. ahead of time, before the time due; early: The building was completed ahead of time. 29. at one time, a. once; in a former time: At one time they owned a restaurant. b. at the same time; at once: They all tried to talk at one time. 30. at the same time, nevertheless; yet: I'd like to try it, but at the same time I'm a little afraid. 31. at times, at intervals; occasionally: At times the city becomes intolerable. 32. beat someone's time,Slang.to compete for or win a person being dated or courted by another; prevail over a rival: He accused me, his own brother, of trying to beat his time. 33. behind the times, old-fashioned; dated: These attitudes are behind the times. 34. for the time being, temporarily; for the present: Let's forget about it for the time being. 35. from time to time, on occasion; occasionally; at intervals: She comes to see us from time to time. 36. gain time, to postpone in order to make preparations or gain an advantage; delay the outcome of: He hoped to gain time by putting off signing the papers for a few days more. 37. in good time, a. at the right time; on time; punctually.
b. in advance of the right time; early: We arrived at the appointed spot in good time. 38. in no time, in a very brief time; almost at once: Working together, they cleaned the entire house in no time. 39. in time, a. early enough: to come in time for dinner. b. in the future; eventually: In time he'll see what is right. c. in the correct rhythm or tempo: There would always be at least one child who couldn't play in time with the music. 40. keep time, a. to record time, as a watch or clock does.
b. to mark or observe the tempo.
c. to perform rhythmic movements in unison.
41. kill time, to occupy oneself with some activity to make time pass quickly: While I was waiting, I killed time counting the cars on the freight trains. 42. make time, a. to move quickly, esp. in an attempt to recover lost time.
b. to travel at a particular speed.
43. make time with,Slang.to pursue or take as a sexual partner.
44. many a time, again and again; frequently: Many a time they didn't have enough to eat and went to bed hungry. 45. mark time, a. to suspend progress temporarily, as to await developments; fail to advance.
b. Mil.to move the feet alternately as in marching, but without advancing.
46. on one's own time, during one's free time; without payment: He worked out more efficient production methods on his own time. 47. on time, a. at the specified time; punctually.
b. to be paid for within a designated period of time, as in installments: Many people are never out of debt because they buy everything on time. 48. out of time, not in the proper rhythm: His singing was out of time with the music. 49. pass the time of day, to converse briefly with or greet someone: The women would stop in the market to pass the time of day. 50. take one's time, to be slow or leisurely; dawdle: Speed was important here, but he just took his time. 51. time after time, again and again; repeatedly; often: I've told him time after time not to slam the door. 52. time and time again, repeatedly; often: Time and time again I warned her to stop smoking.Also,time and again. 53. time of life, (one's) age: At your time of life you must be careful not to overdo things. 54. time of one's life,Informal.an extremely enjoyable experience: They had the time of their lives on their trip to Europe.
—adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or showing the passage of time.
2. (of an explosive device) containing a clock so that it will detonate at the desired moment: a time bomb. 3. Com.payable at a stated period of time after presentment: time drafts or notes. 4. of or pertaining to purchases on the installment plan, or with payment postponed.
—v.t. 1. to measure or record the speed, duration, or rate of: to time a race. 2. to fix the duration of: The proctor timed the test at 15 minutes. 3. to fix the interval between (actions, events, etc.): They timed their strokes at six per minute. 4. to regulate (a train, clock, etc.) as to time.
5. to appoint or choose the moment or occasion for; schedule: He timed the attack perfectly.