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English definition of “tick over”

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tick over

verb uk phrasal verb with tick   /tɪk/ us  

(ACTIVITY)

If a business, job, or system is ticking over, it continues to work but makes little progress: I'll be able to keep things ticking over in the office until you get back.

(ENGINE)

If the engine of a vehicle is ticking over, the engine is operating slowly although the vehicle is not moving: I've left the car with the engine ticking over.
(Definition of tick over from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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