time

noun
\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \
plural times

Essential Meaning of time

1 : the thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc. The time passed slowly/quickly. The two events were separated by time and space. See More ExamplesThe poem is a reflection on the passage/passing of time. What was happening at that particular moment in time? At this point in time, we have not made a decision. [=we have not yet made a decision] 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/on. In the course of time [=as time passed], people learned to accept the changes. The medicine is released in small amounts over time. [=it is released slowly] Her condition should improve with time. [=it should become better as time passes] happening for an extended period of time The study took place over a time span of 20 years. [=the study continued for 20 years]Hide
2 : a particular minute or hour shown by a clock What time is it? = (chiefly Brit) What's the time? The time is 6:15. [=it is 6:15] See More ExamplesI'll see you tomorrow, same time, same place. = I'll see you here this time tomorrow. Would you prefer the meeting to be at an earlier time? Feel free to call me at any time, day or night. What time did you leave work? [=when did you leave work?] They arrived at the appointed/agreed-on time. [=hour] Do you know the time? = (chiefly US) Do you have the time? = (chiefly Brit) Have you got the time? (US) What time do you have? = (Brit) What time do you make it? [=what time is it?] "Look at the time! We have to go."Hide
3 : the time in a particular area or part of the world We'll be arriving at 9:00 a.m. local time. It's 2:00 p.m. Tokyo time.

Full Definition of time

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
3a : 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
4a : 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 hardmove with the times
d : the present time issues of the time
5a : lifetime
b : a period of apprenticeship
c : a term of military service
d : a prison sentence
6 : season very hot for this time of year
7a : rate of speed : tempo
b : the grouping of the beats of music : rhythm
8a : 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
9a : 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
12a : 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
13a : the playing time of a game
14 : a period during which something is used or available for use computer time
at the same time
: nevertheless, yet slick and at the same time strangely unprofessional— Gerald 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
3 : in correct tempo learn to play in time
on time
1a : at the appointed time
b : on schedule
2 : on the installment plan
time and again

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

time

verb
timed; timing

Definition of time (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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 perfectly— Neil 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

adjective

Definition of time (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : of or relating to time
b : recording time
2 : timed to ignite or explode at a specific moment a time charge
3a : 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

Synonyms for time

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 While the new variant was discovered about the same time as omicron, the B.1.640.2 variant hasn’t been detected anywhere outside the southern Alps region of France, TIME magazine reported. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 Hypersonic weapons are considered the next generation of arms that aim to rob adversaries of reaction time and traditional defeat mechanisms. NBC News, 6 Jan. 2022 Ham, a former player who spent time with the Bucks, has been an NBA assistant for 11 years. Rich Rovito, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022 Fox News Digital reached out to Laundry by phone on Wednesday afternoon and was expecting to hear back momentarily, but did not by time of publication. Fox News, 6 Jan. 2022 It’s early January in Northern Ohio – time to start thinking about summer vacation. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 5 Jan. 2022 In 2021, lawmakers passed a new law that could make gathering signatures more time-consuming. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Jan. 2022 More importantly, from the crew perspective: What’s the time to the next [engine] burn? Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Around the same time, Halderson’s dad Bart allegedly finally placed a call to Madison Area Technical College asking questions about his son’s transcript and discovered that none of the administrators Halderson had supposedly been emailing existed. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Investors should not try and time their investments based on market predictions, and rather persistently focus on overweighing certain sectors rather than overhauling their portfolio. Brian Menickella, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Access Seiser Alm through Verona or Venice during off-peak January or time your trip to coincide with the raucous Carnevale in February. Everett Potter, Forbes, 12 Dec. 2021 In a rich, supportive, varied world, on the other hand, there is lots to learn and time and resources to learn it, so keeping an open mind and flexible brain is more valuable. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 Postal workers use it to time their daily runs to Oronsay and back. Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2021 The boxing platform, which has investment from Timbaland, allows at-home Alis to time their punches to song beats. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, 26 Oct. 2021 Many wildlife enthusiasts time their East Africa safari to witness the drama of the annual Great Migration, during which millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles cross the Mara River in search of fresh grass and water. Paul Rubio, Travel + Leisure, 28 Nov. 2021 As for when to invest, experts advise against trying to time the market or buying a certain token just because the internet is buzzing about it. Clare Duffy, CNN, 4 May 2021 Ground navigators bounce radio signals to a spacecraft and back, and ultraprecise clocks can time how long the round trip takes. Katrina Miller, Wired, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Now, with a new three-point threat, Booker can become a multi-time scoring champion throughout his career. Evan Sidery, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2022 Willis, Young and Watters are multi-time semifinalists. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Nov. 2021 Dunning was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Super All-State team a year ago and is a multi-time first-team All-State selection. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 10 Nov. 2021 Other non-time goals could be more tangentially related, for instance: Cutting back on drinking in the weeks leading up to the race, or prioritizing sleep and focusing on healthy foods—whatever that looks like to you. SELF, 5 Nov. 2021 Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard have already been multi-time All-Pros entering their fourth NFL seasons. Evan Sidery, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 And Nneka Ogwumike, a former WNBA MVP and multi-time All-Star, would certainly qualify. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2021 Brandon Crawford’s heir apparent at shortstop, a multi-time All-Star and, just maybe, a generational talent like fellow Dominicans David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 July 2021 After fighting for a near-certain victory, which would have been his second of the year and made Colton the first multi-time winner of 2021, instead of O’Ward, the Andretti driver lost a podium altogether. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 19 June 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for time

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for time

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near time

timbrel

time

time's up

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Statistics for time

Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for time

time

noun
\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \

Kids Definition of time

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues We've been friends for a long time. "Then it'll look like it was supposed to be there all the time."— Megan McDonald, Judy Moody
2 : a point or period when something occurs : occasion Remember the time I helped you?
3 : one of a series of repeated instances or actions They visited him many times.
4 : a moment, hour, day, or year as shown by a clock or calendar What time is it?
5 : a set or usual moment or hour for something to occur We arrived on time. It's time to take your medicine.
6 : a historical period : age in ancient times
7 : conditions of a period usually used in pl. hard times
8 times plural : added quantities or examples five times greater
9 : a person's experience during a certain period She had a good time.
10 : a part of the day when a person is free to do as he or she pleases I found time to read.
11 : rate of speed : tempo
12 : a system of determining time solar time
13 : rhythm
at times
: sometimes We were, at times, very happy.
for the time being
: for the present
from time to time
: once in a while
in time
1 : soon enough
2 : as time goes by : eventually The missing items will reappear in time.
3 : at the correct speed in music
time after time
: over and over again
time and again
: over and over again

time

verb
timed; timing

Kids Definition of time (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to arrange or set the point or rate at which something happens The dryer was timed to run for half an hour.
2 : to measure or record the point at which something happens, the length of the period it takes for something to happen, or the rate at which certain actions take place All the racers were timed.

Other Words from time

timer noun

time

noun
\ ˈtīm How to pronounce time (audio) \

Medical Definition of time

1a : 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

Nglish: Translation of time for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of time for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about time

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