ahead of/behind time

ahead of time

Earlier than a given deadline. If we get to the theater ahead of time, we'll have our pick of good seats. My term paper isn't due until next week, but I finished it ahead of time.
See also: ahead, of, time

behind time

Later than expected, scheduled, or is appropriate. Go ahead and begin the meal without us, we're running a little behind time. We're sorry for being a little behind time with our takeoff, ladies and gentlemen. We should be departing shortly.
See also: behind, time

*ahead of one's time

Fig. having ideas or attitudes that are too advanced to be acceptable in the present. (*Typically: be ~; think ~.) Sue's grandmother was ahead of her time in wanting to study medicine.
See also: ahead, of, time

*ahead of time

beforehand; before the announced time. (*Typically: arrive ~; get there ~; leave ~; show up ~.) If you show up ahead of time, you will have to wait. Be there ahead of time if you want to get a good seat.
See also: ahead, of, time

ahead of time

Earlier, sooner, as in The meeting was scheduled for three o'clock, but most people arrived ahead of time. [Early 1900s]
See also: ahead, of, time

behind time

see under behind in.
See also: behind, time

ahead of/behind ˈtime

early/late: He arrived ahead of time, and had to wait.The trains are running behind time again today.
See also: ahead, behind, of, time