Meaning of TIME in English

/ taɪm; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun

—see also times



[ U ] what is measured in minutes, hours, days, etc. :

The changing seasons mark the passing of time .

A visit to the museum will take you back in time to the 1930s.

time and space

As time went by we saw less and less of each other.

Perceptions change over time (= as time passes) .

—see also Father Time


[ U ] the time shown on a clock in minutes and hours :

What time is it / What's the time ?

Do you have the time?

( BrE )

What time do you make it ?

( NAmE )

What time do you have ?

The time is now half past ten.

( BrE )

Can she tell the time yet (= say what time it is by looking at a clock) ?

( NAmE )

Can she tell time yet?

My watch keeps perfect time (= always shows the correct time) .

Look at the time! We'll be late.

This time tomorrow I'll be in Canada.


[ U ] the time measured in a particular part of the world :

Greenwich Mean Time

6 o'clock local time

—see also standard time , summer time


[ U , C ] time (to do sth) | time (for sth) the time when sth happens or when sth should happen :

What time do you finish work?

The baby loves bath time.

I think it's time to go to bed.

It's time the kids were in bed.

It's time for lunch.

A computer screen shows arrival and departure times.

The train arrived right on time (= at exactly the correct time) .

By the time you get there the meeting will be over.

You'll feel differently about it when the time comes (= when it happens) .

—see also any time , closing time , drive time , night-time , opening time



[ U ] time to do sth an amount of time; the amount of time available to work, rest, etc. :

Allow plenty of time to get to the airport.

He spends most of his time working.

She doesn't have much free / spare time .

I can probably make the time to see them.

What a waste of time !

We have no time to lose (= we must hurry) .

It takes time to make changes in the law.

I didn't finish the test— I ran out of time .

Time's up —have you worked out the answer yet?

He never takes any time off (= time spent not working) .

Jane's worked here for some time (= for a fairly long period of time) .

Do it now please—not in three hours' time (= three hours from now) .

The journey time is two hours.

—see also response time


a time [ sing. ] a period of time, either long or short, during which you do sth or sth happens :

His injuries will take a long time to heal.

I lived in Egypt for a time .

The early morning is the best time of day .

Her parents died a long time ago .

At one time (= at a period of time in the past) Emily was my best friend.

Mr Curtis was the manager in my time (= when I was working there) .


[ U , pl. ] a period of history connected with particular events or experiences in people's lives :

The movie is set at the time of the Russian revolution.

in ancient times

the violent times we live in (= the present period of history)

Times are hard for the unemployed.

Times have changed since Grandma was young.

—see also old-time



[ C ] an occasion when you do sth or when sth happens :

Every time I hear that song I feel happy.

Next time you're here let's have lunch together.

He failed his driving test three times.

He's determined to pass this time .

When was the last time you saw her?

How many times (= how often) do I have to tell you not to do that?

( especially NAmE )

I remember one time (= once) we had to abandon our car in the snow.

( formal )

At no time did I give my consent to the plan.

HELP NOTE : To talk about the first or the last time you do sth, use the first / last time (that) I ... :

This is the first time (that) I've been to London.

This is the first time for me to go to London.

That was the last time (that) I saw her.


[ C ] an event or occasion that you experience in a particular way :

Did you have a good time in Spain?

I had an awful time in the hospital.



[ C , U ] how long sb takes to run a race or complete an event :

The winner's time was 11.6 seconds.

She completed the 500 metres in record time (= faster than any previous runner) .

one of the fastest times ever



[ U ] the number of beats in a bar / measure of music :

This piece is in four-four time.

a slow waltz time

The conductor beat time with a baton.


[ U ] the correct speed and rhythm of a piece of music :

Try and dance in time to the music (= with the same speed and rhythm) .

Clap your hands to keep time (= sing or play with the correct speed and rhythm) .

to play in / out of time (= follow / not follow the correct speed and rhythm)

He always plays in perfect time.

—see also big time , small-time


- (and) about time (too) | (and) not before time

- against time

- ahead of / behind time

- ahead of your time

- all the time | the whole time

- at all times

- at the best of times

- at the same time

- at a time

- at my, your, his, etc. time of life

- at times

- before my, your, his, etc. time

- behind the times

- do time

- every time

- for the time being

- from time to time

- have a lot of time for sb/sth

- have no time for sb/sth | not have much time for sb/sth

- have the time of your life

- have time on your hands | have time to kill

- in good time

- (all) in good time

- in (less than / next to) no time

- in time

- in time (for sth / to do sth)

- in your own (good) time

- in your own time

- it's about / high time

- keep up / move with the times

- make good, etc. time

- many a time | many's the time (that) ...

- nine times out of ten | ninety-nine times out of a hundred

- (and) not before time

- not give sb the time of day

- (there is) no time like the present

- of all time

- take your time (over sth) | take your time to do sth / doing sth

- take time out

- time after time | time and (time) again

- time and a half

- time flies

- time is money

- time is on your side

- (the) next, first, second, etc. time round

- time was (when) ...

- time (alone) will tell | only time will tell

- the whole time

—more at beat verb , bide , borrow , buy verb , call verb , course noun , day , devil , easy adjective , first determiner , forth , fullness , gain verb , give verb , hard adjective , high adjective , kill verb , long adjective , lost adjective , luck noun , mark verb , matter noun , move verb , nick noun , old , once adverb , pass verb , race noun , sign noun , stitch noun , sweet adjective , thin adjective , third , whale

■ verb



[ often passive ] to arrange to do sth or arrange for sth to happen at a particular time :

[ vn ]

She timed her arrival for shortly after 3.

Their request was badly timed (= it was made at the wrong time) .

'I hope we're not too early.' 'You couldn't have timed it better!'

[ vn to inf ]

Publication of his biography was timed to coincide with his 70th birthday celebrations.



to measure how long it takes for sth to happen or for sb to do sth :

[ vn ]

The winner was timed at 20.4 seconds.

[ v wh- ]

Time how long it takes you to answer the questions.



[ vn ] to hit or kick a ball at a particular moment in a sports game :

She timed the pass perfectly.

a beautifully timed shot

—see also ill-timed , mistime , timing , well timed



Old English tīma , of Germanic origin; related to tide , which it superseded in temporal senses. The earliest of the current verb senses (dating from late Middle English ) is do (something) at a particular moment .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.