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noun (1)

tick·​ing ˈti-kiŋ How to pronounce ticking (audio)
: a strong linen or cotton fabric used in upholstering and as a covering for a mattress or pillow


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noun (2)

: ticked marking on a bird or mammal or on individual hairs


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present participle of tick entry 2

Examples of ticking in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Ladies, the clock's ticking and the moon is moving across the sky. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 29 Sep. 2023 All of this — the coach, the roster, the future — is tied to James, the ultimate ticking clock. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024 What controls the ticking of the developmental clock? Quanta Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 In the clip, a high schooler falls victim to Vecna’s tricks, lured in my the ticking of a mysterious clock. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 13 July 2023 Down in the trenches, purpose can seem like a distant luxury when the daily skirmish is with spreadsheets, customer complaints and the relentless ticking of the clock. Ira Wolfe, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The ticking got louder when Microsoft sunk $10 billion more into OpenAI this past January. Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The bench seats are made of high-resiliency polyfoam wrapped in poly/feather blend and encased in down-proof ticking (a fabric covering that prevents the feathers from poking through the upholstery). Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Oct. 2023 The music fades, leaving only a faint ticking that will eventually fade, too. Siobhan Burke, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ticking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

tick entry 4

Noun (2)

tick entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1649, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ticking was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near ticking

Cite this Entry

“Ticking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ticking. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a strong fabric used especially as a covering for mattresses and pillows

More from Merriam-Webster on ticking

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