sign of the times

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a sign of the times

Something regarded, usually negatively, as emblematic of the current time period. Nobody looks up from their mobile phones anymore. I guess it's just a sign of the times.
See also: of, sign, times
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sign of the times

something that signifies the situation evident in the current times. Your neighbor's unmowed grass is just a sign of the times. Nobody really cares any longer.
See also: of, sign, times
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sign of the times

something typical of the nature or quality of a particular period, typically something undesirable.
See also: of, sign, times
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

sign of the times, a

Typical of a particular period, notably the present. This term appears in the Bible. When the Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven, he replied, “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3). Many centuries later, historian Arnold J. Toynbee wrote (The World and the West, 1953), “The people who have read the signs of the times and have taken action . . . are the obscure missionaries of half-a-dozen Oriental religions.”
See also: of, sign
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Former Oasis band member Noel Gallagher ripped into Styles and Sign Of The Times during an interview, which he suggested: 'quite frankly, my cat could've written it in about 10 minutes'.
'Sign of the Times' came from 'This isn't the first time we've been in a hard time, and it's not going to be the last time,'" he explained.
Apart from a one-line posting on his Twitter account which reads 'Sign of the Times is out now,' no mention has been made of the single or of achieving his first solo number one.
"It is a sign of the times. There is absolutely no patience in the world now."
HOW'S this for a sign of the times? I am enjoying the luxury of staying
In another sign of the times, the Justice Department appointed its first federal prosecutor in charge of export control enforcement.
Sign of the times: proudly showing off his handiwork and possibly the finest sign erected indicating the four-mile distance to Liverpool Lime Street from Allerton for passengers, is porter Leonard Lees in September, 1959, when a day return was one shilling.
Such corporate tales as these are perhaps a true sign of the times. Believe in the activity and live the life, or worship in a corporate temple of your choosing.
There's something vaguely sad about all this, a luxuriating in impasse that might be an especially telling sign of the times.
"I think that's another sign of the times, certainly when you look at the message being sent by the Republicans at the national level," Marty Wiseman, director of Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute for Government, told the Associated Press.
"It really is a sad sign of the times that CCTV cameras are needed in a Church."
It is a sign of the times that one of the more frequent categories of legislation was the delineation of reemployment rights for National Guard and other personnel called to active duty.
So perhaps it's simply a sign of the times that Brent Scowcroft, chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board--and national security adviser under Bush I--has been moved from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across the driveway from the West Wing, to digs in the New Executive Office Building (NEOB), a block farther away.
In a sign of the times, the show floor was smaller, conference attendance seemed to be down, and new companies were near impossible to find.
As perhaps a sign of the times, 700 senior financial executives crammed the 21st annual Conference on Corporate Reporting Issues November 4-5 in New York City -- breaking FEI attendee records.