• (RP, Canada, America) enPR: tīm, IPA: /taɪm/, [tʰaɪm]
  • (Australia) IPA: /tɑem/
  • (Can we verify([Wiktionary:Tea_room/2020/Agosto?action=edit§ion=new&preloadtitle=%5B%5Btime%5D%5D +]) this pronunciation?) (Tasmanian) IPA: /tɜːm/


  1. (uncountable) The inevitable progression into the future with the passing of present events into the past.
    Time stops for nobody.   the ebb and flow of time
    1. (physics, usually, uncountable) A dimension of spacetime with the opposite metric signature to space dimensions; the fourth dimension.
      Both science-fiction writers and physicists have written about travel through time.
      • 1895, H.G. Wells, The Time Machine, ISBN 9781634230001, page 35
        So long as I travelled at a high velocity through time, this scarcely mattered; I was, so to speak, attenuated — was slipping like a vapour through the interstices of intervening substances!
      • 2010, Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 9780393338102, page 204
        We all have a visceral understanding of what it means for the universe to have multiple space dimensions, since we live in a world in which we constantly deal with a plurality — three. But what would it mean to have multiple times? Would one align with time as we presently experience it psychologically while the other would somehow be "different"?
    2. (physics, uncountable) Change associated with the second law of thermodynamics; the physical and psychological result of increasing entropy.
      Time slows down when you approach the speed of light.
      • 2012, Robert Zwilling, Natural Sciences and Human Thought, Springer Science & Business Media ISBN 9783642786853, page 80
        Eventually time would also die because no processes would continue, no light would flow.
      • 2015, Highfield, Arrow Of Time, Random House ISBN 9780753551790
        Given the connection between increasing entropy and the arrow of time, does the Big Crunch mean that time would run backwards as soon as collapse began?
    3. (physics, uncountable, reductionistic definition) The property of a system which allows it to have more than one distinct configuration.
      An essential definition of time should entail neither speed nor direction, just change.
  2. A duration of time.
    1. (uncountable) A quantity of availability of duration.
      More time is needed to complete the project.   You had plenty of time, but you waited until the last minute.   Are you finished yet? Time’s up!
      • 1661, John Fell (bishop), The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond ↗
        During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant […]
    2. (countable) A measurement of a quantity of time; a numerical or general indication of a length of progression.
      a long time;  Record the individual times for the processes in each batch.   Only your best time is compared with the other competitors.   The algorithm runs in O(n2) time.
      • 1938, Richard Hughes, In Hazard
        The shock of the water, of course, woke him, and he swam for quite a time.
    3. (uncountable, slang) The serving of a prison sentence.
      The judge leniently granted a sentence with no hard time.   He is not living at home because he is doing time.
    4. (countable) An experience.
      We had a wonderful time at the party.
    5. (countable) An era; (with the, sometimes in plural) the current era, the current state of affairs.
      Roman times;  the time of the dinosaurs
      • 63 BC, Cicero, First Oration against Catiline (translation)
        O the times, O the customs!
      • 1601, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
        The time is out of joint
    6. (uncountable, with possessive) A person's youth or young adulthood, as opposed to the present day.
      In my time, we respected our elders.
    7. (only in singular, sports and figuratively) Time out; temporary, limited suspension of play.
  3. An instant of time.
    1. (uncountable) How much of a day has passed; the moment, as indicated by a clock or similar device.
      Excuse me, have you got the time?   What time is it, do you guess? Ten o’clock?   A computer keeps time using a clock battery.
    2. (countable) A particular moment or hour; the appropriate moment or hour for something (especially with prepositional phrase or imperfect subjunctive).
      it’s time for bed;  it’s time to sleep;  we must wait for the right time;  it's time we were going
    3. (countable) A numerical indication of a particular moment.
      at what times do the trains arrive?;  these times were erroneously converted between zones
    4. (countable) An instance or occurrence.
      When was the last time we went out? I don’t remember.
      see you another time;  that’s three times he’s made the same mistake
      Okay, but this is the last time. No more after that!
      • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20170918070146/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-3-i-am-here/3126527.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
        One more time.
    5. (UK, in public houses) Closing time.
      Last call: it's almost time.
    6. The hour of childbirth.
      • She was within one month of her time.
    7. (as someone's time) The end of someone's life, conceived by the speaker as having been predestined.
      It was his time.
  4. (countable) The measurement under some system of region of day or moment.
    Let's synchronize our watches so we're not on different time.
  5. (countable) Ratio of comparison.
    your car runs three times faster than mine;  that is four times as heavy as this
  6. (grammar, dated) Tense.
    the time of a verb
    • 1823, Lindley Murray, Key to the Exercises Adapted to Murray's English Grammar, Fortland, page 53f.:
      Though we have, in the notes under the thirteenth rule of the Grammar, explained in general the principles, on which the time of a verb in the infinitive mood may be ascertained, and its form determined; [...]
    • 1829, Benjamin A. Gould, Adam's Latin Grammar, Boston, page 153:
      The participles of the future time active, and perfect passive, when joined with the verb esse, were sometimes used as indeclinable; thus, [...]
  7. (music) The measured duration of sounds; measure; tempo; rate of movement; rhythmical division.
    common or triple time;   the musician keeps good time.
    • 1619–1620, John Fletcher; Philip Massinger, “The False One. A Tragedy.”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 1, scene 2:
      some few lines set unto a solemn time
Related terms


time (times, present participle timing; past and past participle timed)

  1. To measure or record the time, duration, or rate of.
    I used a stopwatch to time myself running around the block.
  2. To choose when something begins or how long it lasts.
    The President timed his speech badly, coinciding with the Super Bowl.
    The bomb was timed to explode at 9:20 p.m.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, The Essayes or Covncils, Civill and Moral, […] Newly Written, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, OCLC 863521290 ↗; newly enlarged edition, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, […], 1632, OCLC 863527675 ↗:
      There is surely no greater wisdom than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things.
  3. (obsolete) To keep or beat time; to proceed or move in time.
    • With oar strokes timing to their song.
  4. (obsolete) To pass time; to delay.
  5. To regulate as to time; to accompany, or agree with, in time of movement.
    • 1717, Joseph Addison, Metamorphoses
      Who overlooked the oars, and timed the stroke.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene ii]:
      He was a thing of blood, whose every motion / Was timed with dying cries.
  6. To measure, as in music or harmony.
  • (to measure time) clock
  • (to choose the time for) set
  • French: chronométrer
  • German: Zeit nehmen, Zeit stoppen, Zeit messen
  • Portuguese: cronometrar
  • Russian: хронометрировать
  • Spanish: cronometrar
Translations Interjection
  1. (tennis) Reminder by the umpire for the players to continue playing after their pause.
  2. The umpire's call in prizefights, etc.
  3. A call by a bartender to warn patrons that the establishment is closing and no more drinks will be served.

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