run down the clock(redirected from runs down the clock)
run down the clock
1. In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team is trying to run down the clock to hold out for a win. I don't know, Jim, there's a lot of game time left for them to start running down the clock already.
2. By extension, to protect an advantage by using up as much possible time that remains in a particular situation. They know they have the votes to get their client off without punishment, so I bet they just run down the clock, rather than presenting a real defense. Shouldn't you wake Mom up? Oh, you sneak—you're trying to run down the clock so that she sleeps through your practice and you don't have to go.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.