time

1 of 3

noun

plural times
1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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 hard
move with the times
d
: the present time
issues of the time
5
a
b
: a period of apprenticeship
c
: a term of military service
d
: a prison sentence
6
: season
very hot for this time of year
7
a
: rate of speed : tempo
b
: the grouping of the beats of music : rhythm
8
a
: 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
9
a
: 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
12
a
: 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
13
a
: the playing time of a game
14
: a period during which something is used or available for use
computer time

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

time

2 of 3

verb

timed; timing

transitive verb

1
a
: 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 perfectlyNeil 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

time

3 of 3

adjective

1
a
: of or relating to time
b
: recording time
2
: timed to ignite or explode at a specific moment
a time charge
3
a
: 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
Phrases
at the same time
: nevertheless, yet
slick and at the same time strangely unprofessionalGerald 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
2
3
: in correct tempo
learn to play in time
on time
1
a
: at the appointed time
b
: on schedule
2
: on the installment plan
time and again

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Those forms are set to be reprocessed, the agency said, but a looming May 1 decision deadline for many colleges means that some financial aid offers might not reach students in time. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 11 Apr. 2024 During his time onstage Thursday, Paramount film boss Brian Robbins announced that Krasinski has renewed his first-look deal with Paramount. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for time 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

Adjective

circa 1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near time

Cite this Entry

“Time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

time

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: the period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration
was gone a long time
it rained all the time during our vacation
b
: part of the day when one is free to do as one pleases
find time for reading
2
: a point or period when something occurs : occasion
remember the time you entered the pie-eating contest
3
: a set or usual moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end
arrived ahead of time
4
a
: a historical period : age
in your grandparents' time
b
: conditions of a specified period
times are hard
move with the times
5
: a prison sentence
doing time for robbery
6
: the rhythmic grouping of beats in music shown in the time signature
7
a
: a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar
what time is it
b
: a system of determining time
8
a
: one of a series of repeated instances or actions
told you many times
b
plural : added or accumulated quantities or examples
five times greater
c
plural : equal parts of which an indicated number make up a greater quantity
five times smaller
d
: turn entry 2 sense 5b
three times at bat
9
: a person's experience during a certain period
had the time of their lives
had quite a time staying in the saddle
10
: time-out
called time

time

2 of 2 verb
timed; timing
1
: to arrange or set the time or rate at which something happens
2
: to measure or record the time, duration, or rate of
timed the race

Medical Definition

time

noun
1
a
: 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

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