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Related to tick: deer tick, Lyme disease, tick bite
tick all the (right) boxes
To satisfy or fulfill everything that is necessary or desired. Primarily heard in UK. Of course, a prospective employee may tick all the right boxes on paper but might not be suited to the job once they're actually working for you. His newest thriller ticks all the boxes the author's fans will be hoping for.
1. Of an engine, to run at an idle pace in neutral while the vehicle is not moving. Primarily heard in UK. I won't stay any longer, as I've left the car ticking over outside.
2. To continue operating steadily but uneventfully. Primarily heard in UK. A: "How are things lately, Jeff?" B: "Just ticking over, can't complain really." They decided to leave one person in charge to make sure business ticked over during the long break.
3. To record or be recorded, as on a clock or other mechanical counting device. The Irish squad will be glad to see the first half tick over, as they'll need to regroup if they want to beat this Italian team. The taxi's meter had just ticked over £35 when we pulled into Heathrow Airport.
go on tick
To purchase something on credit. "Tick" is short for "ticket," a note that showed one's debt (although this practice is less common today). Primarily heard in UK. I had to go on tick for a bunch of last-minute purchases because I've already spent so much on this trip! Well, if you need groceries and won't get paid for another week, just go on tick.
*full as a tick
very full of food or drink. (Alludes to a tick that has filled itself full of blood. See also tight as a tick. *Also: as ~.) Little Billy ate and ate until he was as full as a tick. Our cat drank the cream until he became full as a tick.
make someone or something tick
Fig. to cause someone or something to run or function. (Usually with what. Tick refers to a watch or clock.) I don't know what makes it tick. What makes John tick? I just don't understand him. I took apart the radio to find out what made it tick.
[for seconds or minutes] to go by as the clock ticks. The seconds ticked away as the fateful time got closer. As time ticked away, the surgeons worked feverishly to repair the walls of Roger's heart.
tick someone off
to make someone angry. That really ticks me off! Doesn't that tick off everyone?
angry. Wow, was she ticked off! Kelly was totally ticked.
*tight as a tick
1. very tight. (Fig. on the image of a tick swollen tight with blood or of a tick stuck tightly in someone's skin. *Also: as ~.) This lid is screwed on tight as a tick. The windows were closed—tight as a tick—to keep the cold out.
2. intoxicated. (Fig. on full as a tick. *Also: as ~.) The old man was tight as a tick but still lucid. The host got tight as a tick and fell in the pool.
3. [of a race] close, as if the racers are moving very closely together. (*Also: as ~.) This election is as tight as a tick.
4. very friendly and close; as thick as thieves. (*Also: as ~.) Those two are tight as a tick. They are always together.
what makes someone tick
Fig. something that motivates someone; something that makes someone behave in a certain way. (Fig. on what makes something tick.) William is sort of strange. I don't know what makes him tick. When you get to know people, you find out what makes them tick.
what makes something tick
Fig. the sense or mechanism that makes something run or function. (With reference to the ticking of a clock representing the functioning of the clock.) I don't know what makes it tick. I took apart the radio to find out what made it tick.
what makes somebody tick
the reasons why someone behaves the way they do The admiral was interested in people, what made them tick and what influenced their behavior.
tick off somethingalso tick something off
to name a list of things She ticked off six reasons for saying no. She had lots of objections, and she ticked them off one after another.
tick somebody off(spoken) also tick off somebody
to make someone angry It just ticks me off to think that anyone who wants to can read my e-mail. It was only a suggestion, not a criticism, and she didn't think it would tick off everyone at the meeting.
be as full as a boot/tick(Australian informal)
to be very drunk Old Clive was as full as a boot when he left the hotel last night.
what makes somebody tick
if you know what makes someone tick, you understand the reasons for their behaviour and personality A good salesperson knows what makes a customer tick.
Infuriate, make angry. For example, That article ticked me off. [Colloquial; second half of 1900s] For a vulgar synonym, see piss off.
tight as a tick
Drunk, as in She was tight as a tick after just one glass of wine. This expression alludes to a tick engorged with the blood of the animals it feeds on. [Slang; mid-1800s]
what makes one tick
What makes one function characteristically, what motivates one, as in We've never figured out what makes these chess players tick. This expression alludes to tick in the sense of "function as an operating mechanism, such as a clock." [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
1. To function characteristically or well: That old car is still ticking away.
2. To be gradually depleted. Used of an interval of time: The final seconds ticked away.
To pass. Used of time: As the minutes ticked by, we became worried that we would miss the train.
1. To make someone angry or annoyed: Constant delays ticked me off. The arrogant actor ticked off the director.
2. To mark some item on a list with a check or tick: The teacher ticked off each name as the roll was called. As the guests arrived, we ticked them off the list.
1. To be recorded on some mechanical counting device: When the second quarter of the game ticked over, the home team was leading by two points.
2. To record something. Used of a mechanical counting device: The clock ticked over the ninetieth minute, and the game ended in a tie. As the car's odometer ticked the fifth mile over, we began looking for the turn.
3. To function characteristically or well. Used chiefly in the progressive: Because everyone works hard, the business is really ticking over.
(as) tight as a tick
1. mod. very tight. The windows were closed—tight as a tick—to keep the cold out.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. (An elaboration of tight.) The host got tight as a tick and fell in the pool.
tight as a tickverb
a few ticks
n. a few minutes; a few seconds. Just wait. I’ll be there in a few ticks.
n. a minute; a second. (see also sec.) This won’t take a tick. Sit tight.
tick someone off
tv. to make someone angry. (see also ticked (off).) That really ticks me off!
mod. angry. Kelly was so ticked!
See ticked off
1. n. a heart. (see also ticker.) My tick-tock is as strong as an ox’s.
2. n. a watch or clock. (Juvenile.) Wind your tick-tock before you forget.