Meaning of “time” - Learner’s Dictionary


noun us uk /taɪm/

A2 Time is what we measure in minutes, hours, days, etc.:

He wants to spend more time with his family.
Time seems to pass so slowly when you're unhappy.

More examples


A1 a particular point in the day or night:

What time is it?
What time do you leave for school in the mornings?
Can you tell me the times of the trains to London, please?
it's time (for/to do sth)

used to say that something should happen or be done now:

It's time to get up.
in (good) time

B1 early or at the right time:

We arrived in time to catch the train.
on time

B1 not early or late:

I got to school on time.
can tell the time

to be able to know what time it is by looking at a clock or watch

PERIOD [ no plural ]

A2 a period of minutes, hours, years, etc:

I lived in Switzerland for a long time.
It takes time (= takes a long time) to make friends at a new school.
have time

B1 to have enough time to do something:

Do you have time for a cup of coffee?
[ + to do sth ] I never have time to eat breakfast.
in no time

very soon:

We'll be home in no time.

A2 an occasion when something happens:

Give me a call the next time you're in Seattle.
I can't remember the last time we went away.
How many times have you been to Germany?
at the same time

B1 If two things happen at the same time, they happen together:

We arrived at the same time.
one/two/six, etc at a time

one/two/six, etc on one occasion:

He carried the chairs, three at a time.
time after time

again and again on repeated occasions

all the time

A2 very often:

"She's been late twice this week." "It happens all the time."

A2 during the whole of a period of time:

He was ill all the time we were in Spain.
three/eight/nine, etc times

B1 used to say how much bigger/better/worse, etc one thing is than another thing:

Ben earns three times more than me.
in a day's/two months', etc time

B1 a day/two months, etc from now:

I have to go to the doctor again in a month's time.
at times


At times, I wish I didn't have to go to school.
for the time being

for now but not permanently:

I'm living with my parents for the time being.

B2 a period of time in the past:

Did you enjoy your time in Japan?
at one time

at a time in the past:

At one time, you could drive without taking a driving test.
before sb's time

before someone was born

from time to time

B2 sometimes, but not often:

I still see my ex-boyfriend from time to time.
RACE [ C ]

the amount of time that someone takes in a race:

a winning time of three minutes

the time in a particular place:

The plane arrives at 20.50, New York time.

(Definition of “time noun” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)