Meaning of CLOCK in English


I. clock 1 S2 W3 /klɒk $ klɑːk/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Middle Dutch ; Origin: clocke 'bell, clock' , from Medieval Latin clocca 'bell' , from a Celtic language ]

1 . an instrument that shows what time it is, in a room or outside on a building:

I heard the clock strike six (=make six loud sounds) .

The station clock was ten minutes slow (=showed a time ten minutes earlier than the real time) .

by the hall/kitchen/church etc clock (=according to a particular clock)

What time is it by the kitchen clock?

⇨ watch the clock at ↑ watch 1 (8)

2 . around the clock ( also round the clock British English ) all day and all night without stopping:

Kim has been working round the clock to finish it in time.

3 . put/turn the clock back

a) ( also set the clock back American English ) to go back to the way things were done in the past instead of doing things in a modern way – used in order to show disapproval:

The new employment bill will put the clock back 50 years.

b) to return to a good situation that you experienced in the past or to make someone remember such a situation:

The kids are all grown up now and you can’t put the clock back.

4 . put the clock(s) back/forward British English to change the time shown on the clock to one hour earlier or later, when the time officially changes

5 . the clocks go back/forward British English the time changes officially to one hour earlier or later:

The clocks go back in October.

6 . against the clock

a) if you work against the clock, you work as quickly as you can because you do not have much time:

Everyone is racing against the clock to get things ready in time.

b) if you run, swim etc against the clock, you run or swim a particular distance while your speed is measured

7 . twenty-four hour clock a system for measuring time in which the hours of the day and night have numbers from 0 to 23

8 . start/stop the clock to start or stop measuring how much time is left in a game or sport that has a time limit

9 . the clock is ticking used to say that there is not much time left to do something:

The clock is ticking for those who have not yet filled in their tax form.

10 . the clock

a) an instrument in a vehicle that measures how far it has travelled

on the clock

a car with 43,000 miles on the clock

b) an instrument in a vehicle that measures the speed at which it is travelling

11 . run out the clock/kill the clock American English if a team runs out the clock at the end of a game, it tries to keep the ball for the rest of the game so that its opponents cannot get any points

⇨ ↑ biological clock , ↑ body clock , ↑ dandelion clock , ↑ time clock

• • •


■ verbs

▪ look/glance at the clock

She looked at the clock. It was eight thirty.

▪ the clock says eight/nine etc (=shows a particular time)

The clock said five so I went back to sleep.

▪ a clock strikes eight/nine etc (=makes eight/nine etc sounds according to the hour)

In the distance I heard a church clock strike eleven.

▪ a clock ticks (=makes regular quiet sounds that shows it is working)

There was no sound in the room apart from a clock ticking.

▪ a clock is fast/slow (=shows a later or earlier time than the real time)

There’s no need to hurry – that clock’s fast.

▪ a clock stops (=stops working)

My clock had stopped at 6 am so the alarm didn’t work.

▪ an alarm clock goes off (=rings at a particular time)

What time do you want the alarm clock to go off tomorrow?

▪ set a clock (=make it say the right time)

Don't forget to set your clocks to summer time.

▪ wind (up) a clock (=turn a key to keep it working)

It was one of those old clocks that you have to wind up.

■ phrases

▪ the hands of/on a clock (=the long thin pieces that point at the numbers)

The hands on the clock said ten past two.

▪ the face of a clock/the clock face (=the front part that you look at)

I couldn’t see the clock face from where I was sitting.


▪ the kitchen/sitting-room etc clock

Harry glanced at the kitchen clock and saw that he was late.

▪ an alarm clock (=that makes a noise to wake you up)

He forgot to set his alarm clock.

▪ a wall clock (=that hangs on a wall)

A loud ticking came from the wall clock.

▪ a grandfather clock (=an old-style tall clock that stands on the floor)

Where did you get that beautiful grandfather clock?

▪ a digital clock (=that shows the time as numbers that keep changing)

A digital clock at the finish line shows runners their times.

▪ a travel/travelling clock (=a small one for taking on journeys)

▪ a cuckoo clock (=a clock with a wooden bird inside that comes out every hour and makes a sound)

▪ a church clock (=one on the outside of a church tower)

▪ a carriage clock British English (=a clock inside a glass case with a handle on top)


► Do not say ' the clock shows five o'clock '. Say the clock says five o'clock .

II. clock 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

1 . to cover a distance in a particular time, or to reach a particular speed in a race:

Karen won in the 300 metres, clocking 42.9 seconds.

the first steam engine to clock 100 miles an hour

2 . to measure or record the time or speed that someone or something is travelling at

clock somebody at/doing something

The police clocked him doing between 100 and 110 miles per hour.

3 . British English informal to notice someone or something, or to look at them carefully:

Did you clock the bloke by the door?

4 . British English to reduce the number of miles or kilometres shown on the instrument in a car that says how far it has gone, in order to sell the car for more money:

He knew the car had been clocked, but he couldn’t prove it.

clock in/on phrasal verb especially British English

to record on a special card the time you arrive at or begin work SYN punch in American English :

I clock on at 8:30.

clock off phrasal verb British English

1 . informal to leave work at the end of the day:

What time do you clock off?

2 . to record on a special card the time you stop or leave work:

By 6 p.m. most workers have clocked off.

clock out phrasal verb especially British English

to record on a special card the time you stop or leave work SYN punch out American English

clock up something phrasal verb

to reach or achieve a particular number or amount:

The Dodgers have clocked up six wins in a row.

I clocked up 90,000 miles in my Ford.

Councillor Scott has clocked up more than 25 years on the borough council.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.