kill time, to
To engage in an activity, usually a rather aimless or idle one, with the goal of making time seem to pass more quickly or less slowly. I'm going to walk down to the bookstore to kill time before my flight. Do you want anything? It used to be that people killed time at the train station by talking to each other, but now everyone is nose-deep in their phone.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. to use something up, especially time. I killed time reading a novel. The employees were not encouraged to kill time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pass time aimlessly. For example, There was nothing to do, so I sat around killing time until dinner was ready. This idiom was first recorded about 1768.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
kill timedo things to make time seem to pass more quickly and to avoid getting bored, especially while waiting for something.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
kill time, to
To make time pass by performing some unessential activity. The term dates from the early 1700s. Leslie Stephen had it in Hours in the Library (1874), “Tapestry, in which ladies employed their needles by way of killing time.” In a theater review in the Boston Globe (Feb. 1, 2005), Ed Siegel wrote, “As Josh and Sal . . . kill time in a hospital waiting room, nervous about whether a third friend is going to survive a drug overdose.”
See also: kill
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer