noun, often attributive \ˈkläk\

Definition of CLOCK

:  a device other than a watch for indicating or measuring time commonly by means of hands moving on a dial; broadly :  any periodic system by which time is measured
:  a registering device usually with a dial; specifically :  odometer
:  a synchronizing device (as in a computer) that produces pulses at regular intervals
against the clock
:  with or within a time constraint <working against the clock>
:  with clocked speed rather than the order of finish as the criterion for placement <trial races against the clock>
around the clock also round the clock
:  continuously for 24 hours :  day and night without cessation
:  without relaxation and heedless of time
kill the clock or run out the clock
:  to use up as much as possible of the playing time remaining in a game (as football) while retaining possession of the ball or puck especially to protect a lead

Origin of CLOCK

Middle English clok, from Middle Dutch clocke bell, clock, from Old French or Medieval Latin; Old French dialect (Picard) cloque bell, from Medieval Latin clocca, of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Irish clocc bell
First Known Use: 14th century



: to measure the amount of time it takes for (a person) to do something or for (something) to be completed

: to finish a race in (an amount of time)

: to measure or show (the speed of something) with a measuring device

Full Definition of CLOCK

transitive verb
a :  to time with a stopwatch or by an electric timing device
b :  to be timed at
:  to register on a mechanical recording device <wind velocities were clocked at 80 miles per hour>
:  to hit hard
chiefly British :  attain, realize —usually used with up <just clocked up a million … paperback sales — Punch>
a :  to travel (a distance) over time <clocks more than 15,000 miles a year on business>
b :  put in 3 <clocking long hours at the office>
intransitive verb
:  to have a specified duration or speed —used with in <the movie clocked in at just under 3 hours>; broadly :  to have a specified measure or value —used with in <the meal clocked in at about $15>
:  to register on a time sheet or time clock :  punch —used with in, out, on, off <he clocked in late>
clock·er noun

Examples of CLOCK

  1. He clocked 3 hours and 15 minutes in his last marathon.
  2. His fastest pitch was clocked at 91 miles per hour.
  3. The cop said she clocked me going 95 miles per hour.
  4. I was so angry I wanted to clock him.

First Known Use of CLOCK




Definition of CLOCK

:  an ornamental figure on the ankle or side of a stocking or sock

Origin of CLOCK

perhaps from 1clock
First Known Use: 1530


noun \ˈkläk\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CLOCK


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

A classic pendulum clock. The power to run the clock comes from a slowly falling weight (other …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Machine or electronic device that measures and records time. Both simple and elaborate clocks, as well as sundials, candle clocks, and sandglasses, were used for measuring time in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The first mechanical clocks were weight-driven and perhaps were invented for use in monasteries, where the disciplined life required a strict rendering of time. The first European public clock that struck the hours was erected in Milan in 1335, and the oldest surviving clocks are in England (1386) and France (1389). The first domestic clocks appeared late in the 14th century. About 1500 Peter Henlein, a German locksmith, began to make the first portable timepieces, small clocks driven by a spring. Christiaan Huygens invented pendulum clocks in 1656. Big Ben, the great clock at Westminster in London, was installed in 1859 and is the standard for all accurate tower pendulum clocks. The most accurate mechanical timekeepers (within a few thousandths of a second per day) are clocks with short pendulums (about 39 in. [or 990 mm]). In 1929 the vibration of a quartz crystal was first applied to timekeeping; the maximum error of an observatory quartz-crystal clock is only a few ten-thousandths of a second per day. The first atomic clock went into operation in 1951. Atomic clocks, regulated by the natural periodic behaviour of a system of atoms (such as vibrations or emission of radiation), can have accuracies exceeding one billionth of a second per day, making them the most accurate clocks yet invented.


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