beat the clock

Definition of beat the clock

:to do or finish something quickly before a particular time
  • In a desperate attempt to beat the clock, I raced to mail my tax return before midnight.

Word by Word Definitions

beat play
  1. : to strike repeatedly:

  2. : to hit repeatedly so as to inflict pain

  3. : to walk on : tread

  1. : a single stroke or blow especially in a series

  2. : a sound produced by or as if by beating (see 1beat)

  3. : a driving impact or force

  1. : being in a state of exhaustion : exhausted

  2. : sapped of resolution or morale

  3. : of, relating to, or being beatniks

  1. : beatnik

clock play
  1. : a device other than a watch for indicating or measuring time commonly by means of hands moving on a dial

  2. : a registering device usually with a dial

  3. : time clock

  1. : to time with a stopwatch or by an electric timing device

  2. : to be timed at

  3. : to register on a mechanical recording device

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up beat the clock? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!