clockwork

noun
clock·​work | \ ˈkläk-ˌwərk How to pronounce clockwork (audio) \

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 used in the phrase like clockwork to describe something that happens or works in a regular and exact way This type of star has a wonderful property: Its brightness waxes and wanes like clockwork— Ron CowenIf everything went like clockwork, it would have taken a year to get items in stores.— Brooks Barnes

Examples of clockwork in a Sentence

the clockwork inside a mechanical toy soldier
Recent Examples on the Web Like clockwork, many people have been quick to assume that those involved in the attack were either rural white working class people, or antifascists pretending to be Trump supporters. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, "The Rioters Weren’t All “Blue Collar MAGA” — They Were CEOs, Lawyers, & Police Officers," 8 Jan. 2021 This year’s celebration comes mere hours before that familiar clockwork sorcery revises the very look of our days and nights. Washington Post, "One weekend gives Halloween, full moon, blue moon, time change," 31 Oct. 2020 His overall volume will remain inconsistent, but his opportunity to score every week has almost been like clockwork. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fantasy Football Week 13: Add and Drop," 1 Dec. 2020 Like clockwork, the previous two seasons between Argyle and Waco La Vega resulted in a regular season win for Argyle, but a playoff victory for La Vega months later. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "5 things we learned from Dallas-area Texas high school football games, including a playoff breakthrough," 27 Nov. 2020 Every month, wages steadily decline, and every 10 or 12 years, like clockwork, the Argentine peso crashes, diminishing household savings. Antonella Marty, National Review, "Argentina’s Left-Wing President Is Deepening the COVID-19 Recession," 25 Nov. 2020 Every year, like clockwork, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) rears its head. Sadhbh O'sullivan, refinery29.com, "SAD Is Going To Hit Different This Year. Here’s How To Cope," 17 Nov. 2020 Like clockwork, Cromwell quickly set up a chair on her front patio, wheeled out an oxygen concentrator and masked up. Chelsea Curtis, USA TODAY, "'I'm so glad that I'm alive today': Robust contact tracing is saving lives of Apache tribal members," 19 Oct. 2020 Like clockwork, Cromwell quickly set up a chair on her front patio, wheeled out an oxygen concentrator and masked up. Chelsea Curtis, USA TODAY, "'I'm so glad that I'm alive today': Robust contact tracing is saving lives of Apache tribal members," 19 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of clockwork

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for clockwork

Time Traveler

The first known use of clockwork was in 1628

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Statistics for clockwork

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clockwork.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clockwork. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for clockwork

clockwork

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clockwork

: the system of moving wheels inside something (such as a clock or an old-fashioned toy) that makes its parts move
used to describe something that happens or works in a very regular and exact way often used before another noun

clockwork

noun
clock·​work | \ ˈkläk-ˌwərk How to pronounce clockwork (audio) \

Kids Definition of clockwork

: machinery that makes the parts of a device move
like clockwork
: in a very regular or exact way He stops in every day like clockwork.

More from Merriam-Webster on clockwork

Nglish: Translation of clockwork for Spanish Speakers

Comments on clockwork

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