mark time


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mark time

To idly wait; to do nothing except observe the passage of time. I wish we had something to do, but we just have to mark time until this thing is published and we get some reviews.
See also: mark, time
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mark time

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?
See also: mark, time
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
See also: mark, time
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.

mark time

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.
See also: mark, time
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

mark time

1 (of troops) march on the spot without moving forward. 2 pass your time in routine activities until a more interesting opportunity presents itself.
See also: mark, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mark ˈtime

stay 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.
See also: mark, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mark time

tv. to wait; to do nothing but wait. Do you expect me to just stand here and mark time?
See also: mark, time
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: mark, time
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, they are not asking the court to use discretion, they are asking the court to mark time. The court is not going to resolve this tenant's problem."
The tiny rings that identify the tree's recurring cycle of growth and rest mark time in reverse order, and with a few strokes I cut from yesterday back through a decade.
Brokers said that although there were queries from millers, ginners are willing to mark time till after Eidul Fitr in the hopes of reasonable increase in cotton price.
The MP called on the concerned sides to put a time frame to its work in order not to mark time.
super-bantamweight clash with Willie Jorin three years ago, Brodie has been forced to mark time by fighting for relatively insignificant `world'
Hatton had hoped to be facing a big name American opponent in a bid to boost his profile across the Atlantic, but it seems that he's going to have to mark time with Smith before making the next step on his crusade towards Kostya Tszu.
A Post-it note almost imperceptibly twitching on a page to mark time; a model sailing ship stretched full circle until bow and stern merge like a snake eating its tail; a skeleton assembled out of rawhide dog bones: Tim Hawkinson's work is always surprising.
Now unsung world champion Woodhall will have to mark time after his successful defence of the WBC belt against wacky Italian Vincenzo Nardiello.