a race against time

idiomatic phrase

variants or a race against the clock
: a situation in which something must happen or be done quickly because little time is available
Divers pulling the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the cave were in a race against time, with the threat of rains making an already difficult rescue even more urgent.Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono
… as everyone argued back and forth about whether to enter arbitration …, the issue of time came up. For some in the group, this was a race against the clock due to their illnesses and the need for medical treatment.Steven Allen Bruce

Examples of a race against time in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers appear to be in a race against time to more effectively treat and prevent cancer as global populations age, ramping up the pressure on health care services. Byryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 24 Apr. 2024 But the use of modern technology such as drones and high-resolution modeling is beginning to be more common—and will need to be, the authors write, in a race against time. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Apr. 2024 Werfel has been in a race against time to show how improvements to the agency can benefit taxpayers. Fatima Hussein, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2024 Last year also happened to be the hottest year on record Deploying clean energy really is a race against time. Justine Calma, The Verge, 1 Mar. 2024 The popular YouTube comedy duo Smosh accidentally alter a viral video, leading to a race against time to undo the damage and save their channel. Adam Wescott, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Milicevic’s case presented a unique challenge and a race against time. Melissa Karns, USA TODAY, 4 Jan. 2024 And, when the person becomes trapped, getting them out alive is a race against time and the engineering of a rapidly suffocating environment. David Goodhue, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Thuram was forced off late in the first half and it’s reported that the French striker is set to miss around 20 days, and is in a race against time to be fit for the second leg. Emmet Gates, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'a race against time.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of a race against time was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near a race against time

Cite this Entry

“A race against time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/a%20race%20against%20time. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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