a sign of the times


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sign of the times

Something regarded, usually negatively, as emblematic of the current time period. Nobody looks up from their mobile phones anymore. I guess it's just a sign of the times.
See also: of, sign, times

a sign of the times

COMMON If you say that something is a sign of the times, you mean that it shows what life is like now. The fact that no aircraft has been built even to match Concorde, is a rather depressing sign of the times. It was a sign of the times that Clare's skinny body was considered the look of the moment. Note: This expression is often used to suggest that life is becoming worse.
See also: of, sign, times

(be) a ˌsign of the ˈtimes

something that shows the way the world is changing: Seventy per cent of last year’s graduates are still unemployed — a sign of the times, I’m afraid.
See also: of, sign, times

sign of the times, a

Typical of a particular period, notably the present. This term appears in the Bible. When the Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven, he replied, “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3). Many centuries later, historian Arnold J. Toynbee wrote (The World and the West, 1953), “The people who have read the signs of the times and have taken action . . . are the obscure missionaries of half-a-dozen Oriental religions.”
See also: of, sign