English Idioms About Time

Time is like a river that keeps flowing, never stopping for anyone. Have you ever heard the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun”? This is just one of the many idioms about time we use in English. Idioms are phrases that don’t mean exactly what the words say but have a hidden meaning. In this post, we’ll explore some interesting idioms about time to help you learn and understand English vocabulary better. Whether you’re a kid, a student, or someone learning English, these phrases will add color to your conversations and make you sound like a native speaker!

What Does Mean Time?

Time is a measurement that tells us how long something lasts, from seconds to centuries. It’s like an invisible clock that ticks away, organizing our days, years, and lives. We use time to schedule our activities, remember past events, and plan for the future. It’s a constant, moving force that never waits.

Idioms About Time

1. Against the clock

Meaning: Rushed

  • Racing against the clock to finish.
  • Worked against the clock, very stressful.
  • Deadline approaching, against the clock now.

2. Around the clock

Meaning: Continuously

  • Nurses working around the clock.
  • Surveillance runs around the clock.
  • Studied around the clock for finals.

3. At the eleventh hour

Meaning: Last-minute

  • Made changes at the eleventh hour.
  • Decision came at the eleventh hour.
  • Submitted application at the eleventh hour.

4. Beat the clock

Meaning: Outpace

  • Managed to beat the clock again.
  • Beat the clock with seconds left.
  • Always trying to beat the clock.

5. Better late than never

Meaning: Delayed

  • Finally arrived, better late than never.
  • Submitted late, but better late than never.
  • Better late than never, he joked.

6. Bide one’s time

Meaning: Wait

  • Just biding my time for now.
  • Bide your time, then strike.
  • He’s biding his time patiently.

7. In the nick of time

Meaning: Just-in-time

  • Arrived in the nick of time.
  • Saved by the bell, nick of time.
  • Finished in the nick of time.

8. On borrowed time

Meaning: Limited

  • Living on borrowed time now.
  • Old car running on borrowed time.
  • Feels like we’re on borrowed time.

9. Out of time

Meaning: Expired

  • We’re out of time, stop now.
  • The clock ran out, out of time.
  • Out of time for more revisions.

10. Time flies

Meaning: Fast

  • Can’t believe how time flies!
  • Time flies when you’re having fun.
  • Look how much time flies!

11. Time is money

Meaning: Valuable

  • Remember, time is money!
  • Wasting time is losing money.
  • In business, time is money.

12. A race against time

Meaning: Hurry

  • It’s a race against time now.
  • Finishing this is a race against time.
  • A race against time to save him.

13. A stitch in time saves nine

Meaning: Preventative

  • Fix it now; a stitch in time.
  • A stitch in time, less work later.
  • A stitch in time saves effort.

14. Ahead of time

Meaning: Early

  • Finished the project ahead of time.
  • Arrived ahead of time, waited.
  • Always submit assignments ahead of time.

15. Behind the times

Meaning: Outdated

  • His ideas are behind the times.
  • Don’t be so behind the times.
  • Technology that’s behind the times.

16. Big time

Meaning: Majorly

  • He failed big time.
  • Succeeded big time at the contest.
  • Enjoyed themselves big time at the party.

17. Borrowed time

Meaning: Temporary

  • Living on borrowed time.
  • Their agreement is on borrowed time.
  • Feels like borrowed time with her.

18. Crunch time

Meaning: Critical

  • It’s crunch time at work.
  • Finals week is crunch time.
  • Crunch time for the project team.

19. From time to time

Meaning: Occasionally

  • I see him from time to time.
  • From time to time, we chat.
  • Check the oven from time to time.

20. In good time

Meaning: Promptly

  • Arrived in good time for dinner.
  • Will finish the job in good time.
  • Made it in good time, thankfully.

21. In the fullness of time

Meaning: Eventually

  • Everything will resolve in fullness of time.
  • In the fullness of time, you’ll understand.
  • Patience, it’ll come in fullness of time.

22. In the meantime

Meaning: Meanwhile

  • In the meantime, stay busy.
  • We wait; in the meantime, we prepare.
  • In the meantime, read this.

23. Kill time

Meaning: Pass

  • Found ways to kill time.
  • Just killing time till he arrives.
  • How do you usually kill time?

24. Make up for lost time

Meaning: Recover

  • Racing to make up for lost time.
  • After illness, made up for lost time.
  • Working extra, making up for lost time.

25. On the dot

Meaning: Precise

  • Meeting starts at seven, on the dot.
  • Be there at eight on the dot.
  • Train leaves at nine on the dot.

26. Pressed for time

Meaning: Rushed

  • Sorry, I’m pressed for time today.
  • Can’t chat, pressed for time.
  • Pressed for time, must hurry.

27. Time on one’s hands

Meaning: Available

  • Suddenly had time on my hands.
  • Lots of time on his hands now.
  • Time on your hands? Start a hobby.

28. Time’s up

Meaning: Ended

  • Time’s up, pencils down.
  • Heard the buzzer; time’s up.
  • Time’s up, we need to go.

29. Turn back the clock

Meaning: Revert

  • Wish we could turn back the clock.
  • Can’t turn back the clock, unfortunately.
  • If only turning back the clock was possible.

30. Waste no time

Meaning: Expedite

  • We’ll waste no time getting started.
  • Wasted no time in responding.
  • He wasted no time in agreeing.

Explore More Idioms:

Friendship | Business | Happiness

what does mean time

Leave a Comment