what makes (someone) tick

Definition of what makes (someone) tick

informal
:the things that cause someone to behave a certain way :the feelings, opinions, concerns, etc., that are parts of someone's personality
  • I've always wondered what makes people like that tick.

Word by Word Definitions

what play
  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of an object or matter

  2. often used to ask for repetition of an utterance or part of an utterance not properly heard or understood

  3. : who

  1. : why

  2. : in what respect : how

  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of a person, object, or matter

  2. : how remarkable or striking for good or bad qualities

  3. : whatever

make play makes
  1. : behave, act

  2. : to begin or seem to begin (an action)

  3. : to cause to happen to or be experienced by someone

  1. : the manner or style in which a thing is constructed

  2. : brand

  3. : the physical, mental, or moral constitution of a person

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

tick play
  1. : a light rhythmic audible tap or beat

  2. : the time taken by the tick of a clock : moment

  3. : a small spot or mark

  1. : to make the sound of a tick or a series of ticks

  2. : to operate as a functioning mechanism : run

  3. : to mark with a written tick : check

  1. : any of a superfamily (Ixodoidea) of bloodsucking acarid arachnids that are larger than the related mites, attach themselves to warm-blooded vertebrates to feed, and include important vectors of infectious diseases

  2. : any of various usually wingless parasitic dipteran flies — compare sheep ked

  1. : the fabric case of a mattress, pillow, or bolster

  2. : ticking:1

  1. : credit, trust


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