meter

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the meter is running

1. Your fare is increasing with time. Said especially in regards to taxis. I don't care if you want to wait for your friend, but the meter is running pal.
2. By extensions, costs will continue to increase or accumulate as time goes on. Try to avoid calling the lawyer's office if you can—the meter is running as soon as they answer the phone, so every call you make can be expensive.
See also: meter, running

meter is running, the

Costs or other consequences are accumulating, as in We'd better come to a decision soon, for the meter is running. This metaphoric expression alludes to the fare mounting up on a taxi meter. [Late 1900s]
See also: meter