a sign of the times


Also found in: Wikipedia.

sign of the times

Something regarded, usually negatively, as emblematic of the current time period. Nobody looks up from their mobile phones anymore. I guess it's just a sign of the times.
See also: of, sign, times

a sign of the times

COMMON If you say that something is a sign of the times, you mean that it shows what life is like now. The fact that no aircraft has been built even to match Concorde, is a rather depressing sign of the times. It was a sign of the times that Clare's skinny body was considered the look of the moment. Note: This expression is often used to suggest that life is becoming worse.
See also: of, sign, times