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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Jihyo: Three of our members participated in writing this time around. Kristine Kwak, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 2024 There are times voters demand change, sometimes radical transformation. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Sol, owned by French oil giant TotalEnergies and private equity giant Global Infrastructure Partners, revealed a lopsided $175 million package of new loans that will buy time, at the expense of minority shareholders. Forbes Daily, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 The Lions went for it twice on fourth down and came up empty both times. USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 The lander took an extra lap around the moon to allow time for the last-minute switch to NASA's laser system. By marcia Dunn, Quartz, 23 Feb. 2024 During this same time period, high-risk home births, such as Lineweaver’s VBAC, also increased dramatically. Elizabeth Cohen, STAT, 23 Feb. 2024 The lone Del Lago senior seeing significant playing time, Viktor knocked down four 3-pointers, pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024 The morning after the carnival, Amanda gave Kyle a hard time for spending most of his time that night with the stuffed banana. Dana Rose Falcone, Peoplemag, 23 Feb. 2024
Verb
Here’s a complete guide to the solar eclipse—including luxury viewing options and which airline flights are perfectly timed for view from the sky. Passport By Forbeslife, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Viewers won’t have to time their bathroom breaks and snack runs around the commercials. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 But perhaps the most drastic change has to do with time: instead of playing best of three (or five) sets, play is timed in eight-minute quarters, so an entire match lasts no longer than 40 minutes. Elizabeth Doerr, Robb Report, 15 Feb. 2024 An attack during Ramadan — which is timed to the lunar calendar and expected to start on March 10 — could be viewed as particularly provocative to Muslims in the region and beyond. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2024 The military needs a consistent influx of recruits, unless forecasting says otherwise, to replace those timing out of the service. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024 Yet prosecutor Smith strategically timed the indictment to be filed in August 2023. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 South Korean investors timed a huge bet on offices badly, and higher interest rates have already caused German and Nordic landlords to sell off properties at large discounts. Neil Callanan, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024 While Tencent pegged the release date choice to the Lunar New Year, the launch is also clearly timed to get ahead of Netflix’s big-budget version, titled 3 Body Problem, coming March 21. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2024
Adjective
We’re used to seeing the Doctor traveling through space and time, neither of which is possible for non-Time Lords at the moment. Clark Collis, EW.com, 24 June 2020 Cons: The Jazz feature two multi-time All-Stars — Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell — and a roster that has more playoff experience than the Mavericks’ core. Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2022 Strowman, a multi-time champion in WWE, is a popular figure with fans for his imposing presence while also bringing an entertaining personality. Christopher Kuhagen, Journal Sentinel, 19 Dec. 2022 Nevertheless, that didn’t stop multi-time defending champions Scott Patterson of Anchorage and Christy Marvin of Palmer from extending their respective winning streaks. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Aug. 2022 Stephens and Floyd are both coming off all-GNAC campaigns in 2021 and are multi-time all-conference honorees. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Aug. 2022 A week later, multi-time senior champ Sumolong added another title to his name, taking the overall gross win at the State Senior Championship at Settler’s Bay in Palmer. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 The draft kicked off with a pair of high school position players who were the sons of multi-time All-Stars. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2022 There is no such thing as a winner, especially a multi-time winner, that's disloyal. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 15 July 2022 See More

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 4 Mar. 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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