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English definition of “time”


noun (MINUTES/DAYS/YEARS)    /taɪm/
A2 [U] the part of existence that is measured in minutes, days, years, etc., or this process considered as a whole: He wants to spend more time with his family. Time passes so quickly when you're enjoying yourself. She grew more and more fascinated by the subject as time went on/by. The curtains have faded over/with time (= as years have gone past). You'll forget her in time (= in the future). Over the course of time (= as years have gone past), holes have formed in the rock. When Paula was ill, I took her some magazines to help her pass the time. If you'd taken more time with/over (= spent more time doing) this essay, you could have done it much better. It takes a long time (= many hours are needed) to get from London to Sydney. We'd save time on our journey (= it would be quicker) if we went by train. I only worked there for a short period of time. The kitchen clock is gaining/losing time (= is going fast/slow). My watch has never kept very good time (= been correct).Relating to time all the time A2 continuously: I wish you'd stop criticizing me all the time.Always and never in no time C1 (also in next to no time) very quickly or very soon: The children ate their dinner in no time. We'll be home in next to no time.Hurrying and doing things quicklyBusy and active no time to lose If you say there is or that you have no time to lose, it means that you must do quickly whatever it is that you want to do: Come on, there's no time to lose, we must get home before John finds out.Immediately for all time literary always: I will love you for all time.Lasting for a long time of all time that has ever lived or existed: She's been called the greatest singer of all time.Always and never Grammar:Always: meaningAlways can mean ‘on every occasion’, ‘forever’ or ‘very frequently’. In these meanings we use it with simple tense forms:See moreGrammar:Always with continuous verb formsWe can use always with continuous verb forms to refer to regular events or states, especially ones which are problematic or which we do not like or want:See moreGrammar:Always: positionWe most commonly use always in mid position, between the subject and main verb, after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after main verb be:See moreGrammar:Always with can and couldWe often use always with can and could to talk about possible solutions to problems:See moreGrammar:As alwaysWe use as always to talk about one event which is seen as typical:See moreGrammar:Always or all the time?All the time also means ‘very often’ or ‘continually’ and is commonly used to refer to things that people do not like or do not want to happen. We don’t use all the time in mid position:See moreGrammar:MeasurementsSee moreGrammar:Area: length, width, depth and heightWe use the nouns length, width, depth and height and the adjectives long, wide, deep and high to talk about area and size:See moreGrammar:Weight and volumeWe use the verb weigh to measure weight:See moreGrammar:Frequency, speed, timeWe use many different expressions to describe frequency, speed and time. Here are some of them:See moreGrammar:TimeTime is a noun with a number of meanings. In some senses it is countable, and in others it is uncountable. A good learner’s dictionary will give you its many meanings and tell you whether it is countable or uncountable.See moreGrammar:Time: seconds, minutes, hours, yearsWe use time to refer to what is measured in seconds, minutes, hours and years as a whole. In this sense it is uncountable:See moreGrammar:Time: talking about clock or calendar timeWhen we talk about specific clock times, time is countable. We do not say hour:See moreGrammar:On time and in timeWe use on time to talk about timetabled events. If something is on time, it means that it is at the scheduled time. We often use right on time or, more informally, dead on time or bang on time, for emphasis:See moreGrammar:Time: referring to past eventsWe often use expressions with time to refer to past events (the time, the time that, the time when):See moreGrammar:Telling the timeSee more
(Definition of time noun (MINUTES/DAYS/YEARS) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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