ticking

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(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 periodicals archive ?
Leona Wightman, vice president of merchandising for Serta International, handles the ticking selections at Serta.
She eventually chose a ticking from Global Textiles.
s high-end bedding division, used the Stearns & Foster story itself to best capitalize on its ticking presentation.
Sealy Posturepedic's SpringFree latex line, introduced this fall, uses a neutral and subtle off-white knit ticking with taupe accents for the borders and handles.
In Nelles' case, his fabric ticking gets graded simply and quickly.
Park Place's Aloe Therapy bed has fabric ticking finished with aloe vera.
Rather than color, it's the hand, or feel, of the ticking that helps sell the bed, according to some fabric and mattress vendors.
The most unusual ticking we are using right now is the Ultrasuede," said Kathy Grigg, partner at Carolina Mattress Guild.
Ticking designs are still on the drawing board, but one leading contender is the distinctive Dick Idol antler logo.
Regan expects the mattress ticking to have grape-leaf designs woven into the fabric and may have a subtle wine-colored tint.
Classy-looking ticking provides this important packaging.
When the company centralized the fabric design center, locating it in Greensboro, virtually none of the ticking stylists relocated to North Carolina.
Nelles described this diverse group as a "phenomenally good change" for Burlington House's ticking offerings, and as McAllister unfurled her sample fabrics, the reactions of Thad Pettyjohn, sales manager for Jamison, bore that out.
A ticking designer can get inspiration by walking out their door and studying the colors, textures and designs that one of the top-of-bed fabric designers is working on, or peruse color photos from fashion magazines.