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the meter is running

1. Your fare is increasing with time. Said especially in regards to taxis. I don't care if you want to wait for your friend, but the meter is running pal.
2. By extensions, costs will continue to increase or accumulate as time goes on. Try to avoid calling the lawyer's office if you can—the meter is running as soon as they answer the phone, so every call you make can be expensive.
See also: meter, running
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

meter is running, the

Costs or other consequences are accumulating, as in We'd better come to a decision soon, for the meter is running. This metaphoric expression alludes to the fare mounting up on a taxi meter. [Late 1900s]
See also: meter
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to him, getting to the end of the year 2018, his outfit received 1,000 meters, which mostly replaced the faulty ones, adding that they hoped to take delivery of the rest soon to serve all customers in the area.
Mike Kacer (Army)--track (men's IT3 400 meters, 1:03.17)
The charity says typical complaints include first generation smart meters losing their smart functionality when consumers switch suppliers, aggressive sales practices from suppliers, installation problems and customers still having to submit their meter readings manually.
While in houses of the citizens new digital meters are not installed yet but they start receiving the bills according to digital meters.
Women Emily McLachlan - 3rd in 100 meters A in 14.4 secs.
Babatunde Fashola, has said the Federal Government has concluded plan to open up business to involve more Nigerians in meter manufacturing.
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Meters found tempered for theft of electricity are fined according to the consumers' actual load and the percentage of tampering.
It is common for cone (and generic DP) meter operators to talk as if cone meters for gas applications must be calibrated with gas flow and cone meters for liquid applications must be calibrated with liquid flow.
"The difficulty in reading traditional meters is that they are often inaccessible.
Once the problematic tenants are determined, the next step is to use a portable testing device such as a "Dranetz" meter to test the questionable submeters.
(Hint: 4 meters plus 2 meters plus 4 meters plus 2 meters plus 6 meters plus 3 meters)
An enterprise energy management system consists of a network of intelligent energy meters (see Figure 2) linked to a centrally-located server running EEM software (see Figure 1).
"Patented AMDS Connect wireless network architecture coupled with the latest generation of Sensus iCon meters has already been demonstrated to be a winning combination in several utility operating environments, including some of the most varied and unforgiving terrains in the country," added Britton Sanderford, President and CEO of AMDS.
They were asked to sprint at maximal speed for 100 meters, beginning on the curved portion of the track, and their times were recorded with an Accutrack timing system.