borrowed time


: an uncertain and usually uncontrolled postponement of something inevitable
used with living on

Examples of borrowed time in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even borrowed time leaves questions about how Bed Bath & Beyond might ascertain a strategy to turn its core business around. Lauren Hirsch,, 6 Feb. 2023 What Ratcliffe, and other white gays like him, fail to realize is that assimilation is not acceptance; it is merely borrowed time. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 13 Apr. 2021 The outdoor shows have not been particularly well-attended, and Gas Monkey Bar may be on borrowed time. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, 26 May 2020 Even before the pandemic struck the acceleration of cord cutting has fueled questions about whether or not the traditional TV business is essentially living on borrowed time. Brian Lowry, CNN, 21 May 2020 In Season 4, Alfred (David Dawson) is living on borrowed time, and his vision for a unified England seems further away than ever. Sara Aridi, New York Times, 26 Apr. 2020 When police raided the Limelight in the fall of 1995, his empire was living on borrowed time. Alex Williams, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2020 Billings, Montana — John Raines, 49, is living on borrowed time. Steve Hartman, CBS News, 17 Jan. 2020 The oldest had been apparently living on borrowed time as the life expectancy of these nomadic Scythian fighting females was 30-35, according to a press release. Fox News, 9 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'borrowed 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

1664, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of borrowed time was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near borrowed time

Cite this Entry

“Borrowed time.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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