tim·er | \ ˈtī-mər \

Definition of timer 

: one that times: such as

a : timepiece especially : a stopwatch for timing races

b : timekeeper

c : a device (such as a clock) that indicates by a sound the end of an interval of time or that starts or stops a device at predetermined times

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Examples of timer in a Sentence

He was the official timer for the race. She set the timer on the oven for one hour. The timer is set to go off in 15 minutes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

When the timer goes off, get up from your desk and walk briskly outside or around the office for, ideally, 10 minutes. Mike Candelaria, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Got 5 minutes? You have time to exercise," 11 July 2018 Position the food directly over the heat source, close the grill and set the timer. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Control the heat to grill the perfect steak," 26 June 2018 When there's enough power to re-establish the clock, Opportunity will set timers to manage a similar process. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Massive Martian dust storm has put Opportunity rover in a low-power sleep," 13 June 2018 Position the food directly over the heat source, close the grill and set the timer. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "How to grill steak to perfection — it's all about controlling the heat," 5 June 2018 In the interview, the brother recounted a time his sister had to eat her meals and wash dishes before a timer went off. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Missouri couple accused of tormenting 8-year-old face 52 counts of abuse, neglect," 31 May 2018 Note the time on your clock or set a timer for 10 minutes. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "Mix It Up with Oil and Water," 24 May 2018 While currently limited in capability, voice assistants can help users to order items online, play a song, or set a timer. Courtney Linder, The Christian Science Monitor, "Voice assistants can't understand Pittsburghese," 19 Apr. 2018 Messenger currently offers a Secret Conversation mode where users can set a timer on when messages will self-destruct. Natt Garun, The Verge, "Facebook will add an ‘unsend’ feature after secretly deleting Zuckerberg’s messages," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'timer.' 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 timer

1841, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for timer

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for timer

The first known use of timer was in 1841

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More Definitions for timer



English Language Learners Definition of timer

: a special watch that is used to measure the amount of time that is taken to finish a race, a test, etc.; also : a person who uses such a watch to time someone or something

: a device that makes a sound when a certain amount of time has passed

: a device that can be set to turn something (such as a light) on or off at a certain time

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Comments on timer

What made you want to look up timer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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