ticking


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Related to ticking: ticking bomb

(the) clock is ticking

1. There is only a finite amount of time left. The clock is ticking, so be sure to complete your exams efficiently so you don't have to skip questions. They have a chance to tie the game, but the clock is ticking. I know it is a pessimistic view, but in my mind, the clock is ticking on the human race.
2. Of a woman, there is a limited amount of time in which to be able to conceive a child. I've been very successful in my career and want to see it to its fullest, but I would also love to have kids, and I know my clock is ticking. For women who may want to have children, the clock is always ticking—a concern that men never have to worry about.
See also: clock, ticking

biological clock is ticking

Of a woman, there is a limited amount of time in which to be able to conceive a child. I've been very successful in my career and want to see it to its fullest, but I would also love to have kids, and I know my biological clock is ticking. For women who may want to have children, their biological clocks are always ticking—a concern that men never have to worry about.

take a licking and keep on ticking

To continue to function, endure, or persevere despite suffering injuries, damage, setbacks, losses, failures, etc. Taken from an advertisement for Timex wrist-watches: "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking." When you're younger, your body can take a licking and keep on ticking, so it's easy to fall into a false sense of invulnerability. This old truck of mine has taken quite a licking over the years, and it just keeps on ticking.
See also: and, keep, licking, on, take, ticking

take a licking but keep on ticking

To continue to function, endure, or persevere despite suffering injuries, damage, setbacks, losses, failures, etc. Taken from an advertisement for Timex wrist-watches: "It takes a Licking and keeps on ticking." When you're younger, your body can take a licking but keep on ticking, so it's easy to fall into a false sense of invulnerability. This old truck of mine has taken quite a licking over the years, but it just keeps on ticking.
See also: but, keep, licking, on, take, ticking

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.
See also: all, box, tick

tick over

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.
See also: tick

a (ticking) time bomb

A person, thing, or situation that can at any moment cause much havoc or result in a disastrous outcome. I'm telling you, this dirty money we're using to finance the campaign is a ticking time bomb! If anyone were to investigate how we got it, we'd all go to jail! Jenny's attracted to men who exude an air of danger, and her new boyfriend seems like a time bomb.
See also: bomb, time

clock is ticking, the

The time (for something to be done) is passing quickly; hurry up. For example, The clock is ticking on that project. This allusion to a stopwatch is often used as an admonition to speed something up. It also is used in more specific form- one's biological clock is ticking-meaning that a woman may soon be too old to bear a child, as in Her biological clock is ticking-she just turned forty.
See also: clock

tick over

v.
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.
See also: tick
References in classic literature ?
It was past eleven, and the clocks had come into their reign, the grandfather's clock in the hall ticking in competition with the small clock on the landing.
Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight--here were three Portuguese men of business, asleep presumably, since a snore came with the regularity of a great ticking clock.
When those two arms touched one another the ticking of the mechanism would cease--for ever.
He was submerged in the vast impersonal grayness about him, and at intervals the sidelong roll of the boat measured off time like the ticking of a clock.
Barbicane quickly put out the gas and lay down by his companions, and the profound silence was only broken by the ticking of the chronometer marking the seconds.
The silence was profound; but it seemed full of noiseless phantoms, of things sorrowful, shadowy, and mute, in whose invisible presence the firm, pulsating beat of the two ship's chronometers ticking off steadily the seconds of Greenwich Time seemed to me a protection and a relief.
There was a grave clock, ticking somewhere up the staircase; and there was a songless bird in the same direction, pecking at his cage, as if he were ticking too.
When he had sat for some little time, attentive to the ticking of the sober clock, he ventured to glance curiously at the dresser, and there, among the plates and dishes, were Barbara's little work-box with a sliding lid to shut in the balls of cotton, and Barbara's prayer-book, and Barbara's hymn-book, and Barbara's Bible.