Definition of clockwork
1 : the inner workings of something
2 : the machinery (such as springs and a train of gears) that run a clock; also : a similar mechanism running a mechanical device (such as a toy)
3 : the precision, regularity, or absence of variation associated with a clock or clockwork a clockwork operation the planning went like clockwork
Examples of clockwork in a Sentence
the clockwork inside a mechanical toy soldier
Recent Examples of clockwork from the Web
Many are regulars and come in at specific times each day or week, like clockwork.
Colello's checks from Shain showed up like clockwork, sometimes three times a month, from August 2012 to March of 2015.
While the night also included performances by Twin Peaks, Nick Hakim and Talib Kweli, the ceremony ran like clockwork with master of ceremonies and indie artist Ted Leo keeping the night train moving on time.
Saturday’s blastoff of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the unmanned Dragon capsule went off like clockwork, rising from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on schedule at 5:07 p.m. local time.
Clocks and watches were prototypical objects of the modern age, measuring time and production and serving as models for Europe’s clockwork armies.
Doubling down on high-SPF sunscreen (and reapplying it like clockwork) is the gold-standard approach, but even the vigilant wind up with the occasional sunburn.
Cicadas overwhelm tree branches across the Mid-Atlantic once every 17 years, like clockwork.
Their roller coaster story is dramatized with a theatrically shrewd obviousness that delivers the laughs, cheers and tears like clockwork.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clockwork'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of clockwork
CLOCKWORK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of clockwork for English Language Learners
: the system of moving wheels inside something (such as a clock or an old-fashioned toy) that makes its parts move
CLOCKWORK Defined for Kids
Definition of clockwork for Students
: machinery that makes the parts of a device move
: in a very regular or exact way He stops in every day like clockwork.
Seen and Heard
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