time to kill

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time to kill

Extra time that is unscheduled or which one must find ways to fill. Our shuttle arrives at the airport about four hours ahead of our flight, so there will be some time to kill before we board.
See also: kill, time, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

time to kill

Spare time which one must somehow occupy. The word kill here implies wasting or using time frivolously, and indeed this is the implication in Vanbrugh and Cibber’s play The Provok’d Husband (1728): “What think you, if we three sat soberly down to kill an hour at ombre [a card game]?” Ugo Betti (The Fugitive, 1953) took a more sober and critical view: “Killing time is the chief end of our society.”
See also: kill, time, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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