\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \
plural times

Definition of time

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration
b : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future
c : leisure time for reading
2 : the point or period when something occurs : occasion
3a : an appointed, fixed, or customary moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end arrived ahead of time
b : an opportune or suitable moment decided it was time to retire often used in the phrase about time about time for a change
4a : a historical period : age
b : a division of geologic chronology
c : conditions at present or at some specified period usually used in plural times are hardmove with the times
d : the present time issues of the time
5a : lifetime
b : a period of apprenticeship
c : a term of military service
d : a prison sentence
6 : season very hot for this time of year
7a : rate of speed : tempo
b : the grouping of the beats of music : rhythm
8a : a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar what time is it
b : any of various systems (such as a sidereal or solar system) of reckoning time
9a : one of a series of recurring instances or repeated actions you've been told many times
b times plural
(1) : added or accumulated quantities or instances five times greater
(2) : equal fractional parts of which an indicated number equal a comparatively greater quantity seven times smaller three times closer
c : turn three times at bat
10 : finite as contrasted with infinite duration
11 : a person's experience during a specified period or on a particular occasion a good time a hard time
12a : the hours or days required to be occupied by one's work make up time on company time
b : an hourly pay rate straight time
c : wages paid at discharge or resignation pick up your time and get out
13a : the playing time of a game
14 : a period during which something is used or available for use computer time
at the same time
: nevertheless, yet slick and at the same time strangely unprofessional— Gerald Weaks
at times
: at intervals : occasionally
for the time being
: for the present
from time to time
: once in a while : occasionally
in no time
: very quickly or soon
in time
1 : sufficiently early
3 : in correct tempo learn to play in time
on time
1a : at the appointed time
b : on schedule
2 : on the installment plan
time and again

— see also a race against time, take one's time


timed; timing

Definition of time (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to arrange or set the time of : schedule
b : to regulate (a watch) to keep correct time
2 : to set the tempo, speed, or duration of timed his leap perfectly— Neil Amdur
3 : to cause to keep time with something
4 : to determine or record the time, duration, or rate of time a horse
5 : to dispose (something, such as a mechanical part) so that an action occurs at a desired instant or in a desired way

intransitive verb

: to keep or beat time



Definition of time (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : of or relating to time
b : recording time
2 : timed to ignite or explode at a specific moment a time charge
3a : payable on a specified future day or a certain length of time after presentation for acceptance a time draft time deposits
b : based on installment payments a time sale

Synonyms for time

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of time in a Sentence

Noun The two events were separated by time and space. The poem is a reflection on the passage of time. What was happening at that particular moment in time? It has been that way since the beginning of time. If only I could travel back in time and do things differently. They were given a relatively short amount of time to finish the job. The situation has been getting more complicated as time goes by . happening for an extended period of time Would you prefer the meeting to be at an earlier time? Feel free to call me at any time, day or night. Verb They timed their vacation to coincide with the jazz festival. He timed it so that he made the shot just before the clock ran out. She timed the shot perfectly. The runners are timed with special watches. He timed the students as they completed their tests. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is, to borrow the words of the Cleveland Clinic at the time, a medical impossibility. Charlotte Shane, Harper’s Magazine , 28 Sep. 2022 At the time, Ford was promising $900 million of investment and at least 1,500 jobs. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 27 Sep. 2022 The crash was initially categorized as a hit-and-run, and Sacoolas had reportedly been in the country for just three weeks at the time. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 27 Sep. 2022 Prosecutors’ circumstantial case against him at the time relied on witness testimony, cell phone evidence that has since been partially discredited and his own statements. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 27 Sep. 2022 The storm is expected to make landfall in Florida at about the same time as the hearing was to take place. Katherine Faulders, ABC News, 27 Sep. 2022 At the time, amid a national recession, New Jersey faced a budget shortfall that threatened to reach $600 million. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2022 At the time, crypto startups had become all the rage in Silicon Valley, garnering rapid growth figures and high volumes, and even attracting pension funds to the cap table. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 Cooke said investigators spoke to witnesses and interviewed Holley at the time. Caroline Silva, ajc, 27 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s a canyon for a hitter trying to time his swing. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2022 Financial planners warn investors against trying to time the market. New York Times, 12 June 2022 Those who try to time the market and jump out end up not knowing when to get back in. Aviva Pinto, Forbes, 12 July 2022 But in order to visit, tourists need to time the tides and safely navigate the causeway. Stephen Castle, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2022 The bill would create a nail salon industry council, made up of workers, employers and government officials, that would establish standards from wages to time off. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 17 July 2022 But the forecasts helped him time his flood releases precisely enough that, after weeks of rain, the water in the dam ended up just shy of capacity. New York Times, 12 Aug. 2022 Facebook, like many large-scale tech companies, is tired of trying to time a global network of servers against leap seconds, which add between 0.1 and 0.9 seconds to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) every so many years. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 One of the greatest risks of trying to time the markets is missing out on the market’s best days. Ron Carson, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Stephens and Floyd are both coming off all-GNAC campaigns in 2021 and are multi-time all-conference honorees. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Aug. 2022 A week later, multi-time senior champ Sumolong added another title to his name, taking the overall gross win at the State Senior Championship at Settler’s Bay in Palmer. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 The draft kicked off with a pair of high school position players who were the sons of multi-time All-Stars. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2022 There is no such thing as a winner, especially a multi-time winner, that's disloyal. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 15 July 2022 Maybe the real romance would be two people doing what us non-time-traveler normies do every day: choosing someone to love, and choosing every day to continue loving them with no guarantee that any of it is written in the stars. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 May 2022 Since the current points system used to determine Derby qualifiers started in 2013, post-time favorites have landed in the superfecta payout all nine years – six wins, one second and two fourths. Jason Frakes, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 The chances of the balance of the field are rated from 20-1 to 50-1 and the likelihood is at post-time their odds will be higher. Tom Jicha, sun-sentinel.com, 1 Apr. 2022 Earlier Tuesday, the Sacramento Kings added multi-time all-star Domantas Sabonis. Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'time.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of time


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


circa 1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for time


Middle English, from Old English tīma; akin to Old Norse tīmi time, Old English tīd — more at tide entry 3

Learn More About time

Time Traveler for time

Time Traveler

The first known use of time was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near time



time's up

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Statistics for time

Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for time


\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \

Kids Definition of time

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues We've been friends for a long time. "Then it'll look like it was supposed to be there all the time."— Megan McDonald, Judy Moody
2 : a point or period when something occurs : occasion Remember the time I helped you?
3 : one of a series of repeated instances or actions They visited him many times.
4 : a moment, hour, day, or year as shown by a clock or calendar What time is it?
5 : a set or usual moment or hour for something to occur We arrived on time. It's time to take your medicine.
6 : a historical period : age in ancient times
7 : conditions of a period usually used in pl. hard times
8 times plural : added quantities or examples five times greater
9 : a person's experience during a certain period She had a good time.
10 : a part of the day when a person is free to do as he or she pleases I found time to read.
11 : rate of speed : tempo
12 : a system of determining time solar time
13 : rhythm
at times
: sometimes We were, at times, very happy.
for the time being
: for the present
from time to time
: once in a while
in time
1 : soon enough
2 : as time goes by : eventually The missing items will reappear in time.
3 : at the correct speed in music
time after time
: over and over again
time and again
: over and over again


timed; timing

Kids Definition of time (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to arrange or set the point or rate at which something happens The dryer was timed to run for half an hour.
2 : to measure or record the point at which something happens, the length of the period it takes for something to happen, or the rate at which certain actions take place All the racers were timed.

Other Words from time

timer noun


\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \

Medical Definition of time

1a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues — see bleeding time, coagulation time, prothrombin time, reaction time
b : a continuum which lacks spatial dimensions and in which events succeed one another from past through present to future
2 : the point or period when something occurs
3 : a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar what time is it

More from Merriam-Webster on time

Nglish: Translation of time for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of time for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about time


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