1

time

noun \ ˈtīm \
Updated on: 22 Nov 2017

Definition of time

1 a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration
b : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future
c : leisure
  • time for reading
2 : the point or period when something occurs : occasion
3 a : an appointed, fixed, or customary moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end
  • arrived ahead of time
b : an opportune or suitable moment
  • decided it was time to retire
often used in the phrase about time
  • about time for a change
4 a : a historical period : age
b : a division of geologic chronology
c : conditions at present or at some specified period usually used in plural
  • times are hard
  • move with the times
d : the present time
  • issues of the time
5 a : lifetime
b : a period of apprenticeship
c : a term of military service
d : a prison sentence
6 : season
  • very hot for this time of year
7 a : rate of speed : tempo
b : the grouping of the beats of music : rhythm
8 a : a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar
  • what time is it
b : any of various systems (such as a sidereal or solar system) of reckoning time
9 a : one of a series of recurring instances or repeated actions
  • you've been told many times
b times plural
(1) : added or accumulated quantities or instances
  • five times greater
(2) : equal fractional parts of which an indicated number equal a comparatively greater quantity
  • seven times smaller
  • three times closer
c : turn
  • three times at bat
10 : finite as contrasted with infinite duration
11 : a person's experience during a specified period or on a particular occasion
  • a good time
  • a hard time
12 a : the hours or days required to be occupied by one's work
  • make up time
  • on company time
b : an hourly pay rate
  • straight time
c : wages paid at discharge or resignation
  • pick up your time and get out
13 a : the playing time of a game
b : time-out 1
14 : a period during which something is used or available for use
  • computer time
at the same time
: nevertheless, yet
  • slick and at the same time strangely unprofessional
  • —Gerald Weaks
at times
: at intervals : occasionally
for the time being
: for the present
from time to time
: once in a while : occasionally
in no time
: very quickly or soon
in time
1 : sufficiently early
3 : in correct tempo
  • learn to play in time
on time
1 a : at the appointed time
b : on schedule
2 : on the installment plan
time and again

Examples of time in a Sentence

  1. The two events were separated by time and space.

  2. The poem is a reflection on the passage of time.

  3. What was happening at that particular moment in time?

  4. It has been that way since the beginning of time.

  5. If only I could travel back in time and do things differently.

  6. They were given a relatively short amount of time to finish the job.

  7. The situation has been getting more complicated as time goes by .

  8. happening for an extended period of time

  9. Would you prefer the meeting to be at an earlier time?

  10. Feel free to call me at any time, day or night.

Recent Examples of time from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'time.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of time

Middle English, from Old English tīma; akin to Old Norse tīmi time, Old English tīd — more at 3tide

time Synonyms


2

time

verb

Definition of time

timed; timing
transitive verb
1 a : to arrange or set the time of : schedule
b : to regulate (a watch) to keep correct time
2 : to set the tempo, speed, or duration of
  • timed his leap perfectly
  • —Neil Amdur
3 : to cause to keep time with something
4 : to determine or record the time, duration, or rate of
  • time a horse
5 : to dispose (something, such as a mechanical part) so that an action occurs at a desired instant or in a desired way
intransitive verb
: to keep or beat time

Examples of time in a Sentence

  1. They timed their vacation to coincide with the jazz festival.

  2. He timed it so that he made the shot just before the clock ran out.

  3. She timed the shot perfectly.

  4. The runners are timed with special watches.

  5. He timed the students as they completed their tests.

Recent Examples of time from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'time.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of time

14th century


3

time

adjective

Definition of time

1 a : of or relating to time
b : recording time
2 : timed to ignite or explode at a specific moment
  • a time charge
3 a : payable on a specified future day or a certain length of time after presentation for acceptance
  • a time draft
  • time deposits
b : based on installment payments
  • a time sale

First Known Use of time

circa 1711


TIME Defined for English Language Learners

time

noun

Definition of time for English Language Learners

  • : the thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc.

  • : a particular minute or hour shown by a clock

  • : the time in a particular area or part of the world


time

verb

Definition of time for English Language Learners

  • : to choose the hour, day, month, etc., when (something) will happen : to schedule (something, such as an event) to happen at a particular time

  • sports : to cause (something, such as a throw or pass) to happen at a certain moment

  • : to measure the amount of time needed by someone to do something (such as to finish a race)


TIME Defined for Kids

1

time

noun \ ˈtīm \

Definition of time for Students

1 : a period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues
  • We've been friends for a long time.
  • “Then it'll look like it was supposed to be there all the time.
  • —Megan McDonald, Judy Moody
2 : a point or period when something occurs : occasion
  • Remember the time I helped you?
3 : one of a series of repeated instances or actions
  • They visited him many times.
4 : a moment, hour, day, or year as shown by a clock or calendar
  • What time is it?
5 : a set or usual moment or hour for something to occur
  • We arrived on time.
  • It's time to take your medicine.
6 : a historical period : age
  • in ancient times
7 : conditions of a period usually used in pl.
  • hard times
8 times plural : added quantities or examples
  • five times greater
9 : a person's experience during a certain period
  • She had a good time.
10 : a part of the day when a person is free to do as he or she pleases
  • I found time to read.
11 : rate of speed : tempo
12 : a system of determining time
  • solar time
13 : rhythm
at times
: sometimes
  • We were, at times, very happy.
for the time being
: for the present
from time to time
: once in a while
in time
1 : soon enough
2 : as time goes by : eventually
  • The missing items will reappear in time.
3 : at the correct speed in music
time after time
: over and over again
time and again
: over and over again

2

time

verb

Definition of time for Students

timed; timing
1 : to arrange or set the point or rate at which something happens
  • The dryer was timed to run for half an hour.
2 : to measure or record the point at which something happens, the length of the period it takes for something to happen, or the rate at which certain actions take place
  • All the racers were timed.

timer

noun

Medical Dictionary

time

noun \ ˈtīm \

medical Definition of time

1 a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues — see bleeding time, coagulation time, prothrombin time, reaction time
b : a continuum which lacks spatial dimensions and in which events succeed one another from past through present to future
2 : the point or period when something occurs
3 : a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar
  • what time is it


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