\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Around the same time, Jorge Ignacio Torres opened Futuro, an ultra modern downtown Phoenix coffee shop, in 2016. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 18 July 2021 Nearly 70 years after his disappearance during the Korean War, United States Air Force Airman 2nd Class Edward J. Miller received a hero’s welcome at General Mitchell International Airport, and then headed home for the final time. Christian Robles, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 July 2021 The Joc Pederson trade presents an opportunity for Happ to earn more consistent playing time. Meghan Montemurro, chicagotribune.com, 18 July 2021 During past economic downturns, Congress has funded a temporary extension of those time limits. BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2021 Find all tee times; first tee time is 3 a.m. (Kevin Kisner). Detroit Free Press, 18 July 2021 June workouts have now turned into July drill work and conditioning, and players aren’t looking to waste time on the field. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 18 July 2021 The experiment, published Thursday in Science, marks the first time that researchers have overcome a key hurdle in the hunt for achieving one of reproductive medicine’s wilder ideas: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. Megan Molteni, STAT, 18 July 2021 For just the second time this season, the Y'alls entered a game-deciding home run derby. Jayna Bardahl, The Enquirer, 18 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jorge Polanco tried to time White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito's delivery on a steal of second base, left too soon and was thrown out. Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 But consider a universe where more people don’t have to time their lives to the rhythm of rush hour — and where whole cities aren’t so preoccupied by what to do about it. New York Times, 11 June 2021 Find tunnel schedules online to time your visit accordingly. Katie Pesznecker, Anchorage Daily News, 28 June 2021 To understand the considerable cost of destructive investing behaviors, look at what investors who try to time the market are up against. Jonathan Dash, Forbes, 2 June 2021 That is the core of the never-ending debate over whether investors who attempt to time the market to maximize returns can do better than those who choose to remain in the market. Jonathan Dash, Forbes, 24 June 2021 Benz said Morningstar data suggests that the more volatile the asset class, the less likely investors are to time their purchases and sales well. Washington Post, 22 June 2021 In most cases, parents' anxiety will be temporary as they get used to time apart from their kids again, psychologists say. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, 19 June 2021 Even these were specifically chosen and altered with an opening to control and time the landing. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, 11 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Brandon Crawford’s heir apparent at shortstop, a multi-time All-Star and, just maybe, a generational talent like fellow Dominicans David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 July 2021 After fighting for a near-certain victory, which would have been his second of the year and made Colton the first multi-time winner of 2021, instead of O’Ward, the Andretti driver lost a podium altogether. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 19 June 2021 In 2013, Orb began a run of six straight post-time favorites to win the Derby, ending with Justify’s victory in 2018. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 28 Apr. 2021 The 7-footer, Orlando's only all-star since 2012 and its sixth multi-time all-star, came into Tuesday averaging a career-best 24.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. John Denton, Star Tribune, 23 Feb. 2021 In hindsight, getting multi-time All Star Russell Westbrook with the fourth overall pick in 2008 is a best-case scenario. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, 8 Nov. 2020 Bowden is a multi-time cancer survivor, including prostate cancer in 2007 and skin cancer on at least two occasions. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 5 Oct. 2020 Both multi-time LHSAA state champions also won in July at the Deep South Duals in Birmingham, Alabama. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, 16 Sep. 2020 Favorites have been defeated in the past five Oaks, with Untapable in 2014 the last post-time choice to win the race. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 31 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for time

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near time



time's up

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Statistics for time

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for time



English Language Learners Definition of time

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc.
: a particular minute or hour shown by a clock
: the time in a particular area or part of the world



English Language Learners Definition of time (Entry 2 of 2)

: to choose the hour, day, month, etc., when (something) will happen : to schedule (something, such as an event) to happen at a particular time
sports : to cause (something, such as a throw or pass) to happen at a certain moment
: to measure the amount of time needed by someone to do something (such as to finish a race)


\ 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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