what makes (someone) tick

idiom

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.

Dictionary Entries Near what makes (someone) tick

whatlike

what makes (someone) tick

Whatman

Cite this Entry

“What makes (someone) tick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/what%20makes%20%28someone%29%20tick. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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