(only) time will tell

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of (only) time will tell

used to say that the results of a situation will be known only after a certain amount of time has passed
  • "Will he be OK?" "I don't know. Only time will tell."

Word by Word Definitions

only play
  1. : unquestionably the best : peerless

  2. : alone in a class or category : sole

  3. : having no brother or sister

  1. : as a single fact or instance and nothing more or different : merely

  2. : solely, exclusively

  3. : at the very least

  1. : with the restriction that : but

  2. : and yet : however

  3. : were it not that : except

time play
  1. : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration

  2. : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future

  3. : leisure

  1. : to arrange or set the time of : schedule

  2. : to regulate (a watch) to keep correct time

  3. : to set the tempo, speed, or duration of

  1. : of or relating to time

  2. : recording time

  3. : timed to ignite or explode at a specific moment

will play
  1. used to express futurity

  2. used to express desire, choice, willingness, consent, or in negative constructions refusal

  3. used to express a command, exhortation, or injunction

  1. : a legal declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death

  2. : desire, wish: such as

  3. : disposition, inclination

  1. : to cause or change by an act of will

  2. : intend, purpose

  3. : decree, ordain

tell play
  1. : to relate in detail : narrate

  2. : to give utterance to : say

  3. : to make known : divulge, reveal

  1. : an inadvertent behavior or mannerism that betrays a poker player's true thoughts, intentions, or emotions

  1. : hill, mound


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