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pass the time
To occupy oneself during a period of spare time. If you're looking for a way to pass the time, we have plenty of great books to read!
To engage in some activity during periods of spare time. A modifier can be used between "pass" and "time." To me, reading will always be the single best way to pass time. I've been passing my time in the evenings by learning how to weld at a local community workshop. The airport has opened a new kid-friendly activity center to help families pass some time while they wait for their flights.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pass the time (of day)
to spend time doing something; to consume or use spare time by doing something. I read to pass the time while waiting in the doctor's office. I passed the time of day by talking to Dave.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
pass the time
1. Occupy oneself for an interval, as in The plane was six hours late but I passed the time reading a book.
2. pass the time of day. Exchange greetings, engage in pleasantries, chat, as in Whenever I met her we would stop to pass the time of day. [First half of 1800s]
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.