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English definition of “time”

time

noun
 
 
/taɪm/
[U] what is measured in minutes, hours, etc.: spend/waste/save time Many consumers spend considerable time researching the best buys for a new or camera.have (the) time to do sth Not all investors have the time to invest directly in stocks and shares.an amount/period/length of time The amount of time small-business managers spend at work has increaseda lot of/plenty of/little time Executives often complain that a lot of time is wasted in meetings.give sb time to do sth The Australian IT group has been given more time to raise funds for the merger.more/less time Suggested amendments to current legislation would give borrowers more time to pay back loans.it takes time to do sth Customers using the new system report an 80% reduction in the time it takes to place orders. over time How do you think the market will perform over time?time and money/resources/energy Today's youngsters spend more time and money on personal grooming than any previous generation.
[S] a period of time of a particular type, for example, a period that is difficult, successful, etc.: a difficult/hard/tough time Auto makers are having a tough time in a marketplace that is getting more and more competitive.an easy/good time The media group has not had an easy time of late, due to a difficult advertising market and changing viewer habits.
[S] a period of time of a particular length: for a time The advantages of low business tax can give a significant boost to economies, at least for a time.a long/short/extended time TV will probably continue to dominate the advertising market for a long time.
[U] time that is used in a particular way or for a specific purpose: Most of my time at work is spent in direct contact with clients. work/free/leisure timemake/take time to do sth Don't forget to take time to fill out all the necessary forms.
[C] an occasion when sth happens: at a time when Eliminating estate tax would add to the nation's debt at a time when we can least afford it.at this/that time At that time, I had to travel a lot with my job.the first/next/last time Share prices rose yesterday for the first time in over two years.every/each time New "smart meters" show how much water is consumed every time a power shower is run or a washing machine is used.
[S or U] the time shown on a clock or a watch: the time of sth The time of the meeting has been put back to 11.30 am. What time shall we start?
[U] the time in one country or part of the world that is different from the time in another country or part of the world: The phone went on sale at 6 p.m. local time.
against time if you do something against time, you have to work very hard to finish it by the agreed time or date: We are working against time to get the stadium finished for the opening ceremony.a race/battle/fight against time The race against time to stop deforestation has begun.
ahead of time if you do something ahead of time, you do it early or before something else happens: You must arrive at the airport two hours ahead of time in order to go through security.
all the time/the whole time for the whole of a period of time: New technology means that employees no longer need to be at their desks all the time. if something happens all the time or the whole time, it happens very often: Subscribers to our service get as many as 75 channels, with new ones coming all the time.
at a time if something happens for days, weeks, months, etc. at a time, it continues for the whole of that period: Computer viruses are capable of crippling large companies, often for days at a time. in groups or amounts of a particular number: Guest designers - as many as 100 at a time - have been invited to work with resident designers.
at all times formal always or at any time of the day: Calls to other mobiles cost 40p a minute at all times. This exit must be kept clear at all times.
behind time happening or being done later than expected: Trains are running behind time due to an accident on the line.
in good time early, or allowing more than enough time for something to happen: Remember to send your tax form to us in good time.
in time for sth before something else starts or happens: Just in time for the fall buying season, the company has announced a range of new handheld PCs.
it's time for sb to do sth used to say that something must be done immediately or very soon: It's time for Congress to pass a stimulus package to kick-start the economy.
keep up/move/change with the times to allow ideas, methods, etc. to develop and remain modern: The BBC knows it has to move with the times in its negotiations over broadcasting rights.
a matter/question of time used to say that something will happen in the future, probably quite soon: It may be just a matter of time until a budget airline introduces a crew-free plane. You'll find a job eventually - it's only a question of time.
nine times out of ten/99 times out of 100 used to say that something nearly always happens in a particular way or nearly always produces a particular result: Nine times out of ten, if you propose an idea, someone will argue with it.
ten/20/100, etc. times better/bigger/worse, etc. used when you compare two things to say how much better, bigger, worse, etc. something is than something else: The median wealth of people with ISAs is 20 times greater than that of the general population.
on time at the agreed or expected time: We are committed to completing the project on time and on budget. I expect all my staff to get to work on time.
the time has come/the time is ripe for sth used to emphasize that something must be done or dealt with immediately: We feel the time has come for him to resign. With a falling housing market in Europe, the time is ripe for property auctions.
time is money used to say that if you waste time you are also losing money: For the oil industry time is money, and in most cases it's cheaper to pay compensation and move to another site than wait for a board hearing.
time is of the essence used to say that you should not wait or waste time before doing something important or urgent: Environmentalists argue that time is of the essence in redirecting transportation money from roads to transit.
→ See also airtime, closing time, comp time, compensatory time, daylight saving time, dead time, delivery time, double time, downtime, drive time, dwell time, face time, GMT, lead time, lost time, new time, prime time, standard time
(Definition of time noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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