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Fig. to wait; to do nothing but wait. I'll just mark time till things get better. Do you expect me to just stand here and mark time?
Wait idly for something to occur, as in We were just marking time until we received our instructions. This idiom alludes to the literal meaning of marching in place to the time, or beat, of music. [Early 1800s]
COMMON If you mark time, you do not do anything interesting or of value, because you are waiting to see how a situation develops. He had failed his college exams and was marking time working in a baker's shop. People think that I'm marking time till I can make movies or Broadway shows. Note: When soldiers mark time, they march on the spot without moving forward.
mark time1 (of troops) march on the spot without moving forward. 2 pass your time in routine activities until a more interesting opportunity presents itself.
mark ˈtimestay in one situation, job, etc., not making any progress, but waiting for an opportunity to do so: ‘What are you doing at the moment?’ ‘I’m just marking time until somebody offers me a better job.’
If soldiers mark time, they march on one spot without moving forward.
tv. to wait; to do nothing but wait. Do you expect me to just stand here and mark time?
1. To move the feet alternately in the rhythm of a marching step without advancing.
2. To suspend progress for the time being; wait in readiness.
3. To function in an apathetic or ineffective manner.