tell time


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tell time

1. Of a person, to be able to understand the time of day by looking at an analog clock or watch. Now that many young children carry phones around with them, it's becoming harder and harder to teach them how to tell time.
2. Of a clock or watch, to keep track of the current time of day. My grandfather's old pocketwatch doesn't tell time anymore, but I really like the look of having it on me.
See also: tell, time

tell time

 
1. Lit. to keep or report the correct time. This clock doesn't tell time very accurately. My watch stopped telling time, so I had to have it repaired.
2. Fig. to be able to read time from a clock or watch. Billy is only four. He can't tell time yet. They are teaching the children to tell time at school.
See also: tell, time

tell time

Keep track of the hours; also, know how to read a clock or watch. For example, This old clock still tells time quite accurately, or He taught his niece to tell time by using a cuckoo clock. This expression uses tell in the sense of "reckon" or "calculate," a usage dating from about a.d. 1000.
See also: tell, time

tell time

To determine the time of day indicated by the positions of the hands on a clock.
See also: tell, time
References in periodicals archive ?
This revolutionary idea of being able to tell time without traditional 'hands' was the central goal that eventually culminated in the efforts of Geneva-based Urwerk (eur-verk), which now celebrates its 15th year anniversary.
The clock is designed to tell time for the next 100 centuries.
French astronomer Camille Flammarion originally planned for the markings on the pavement of the Place de la Concorde in 1913 to allow passersby to tell time according to shadows from the 108-foot Obelisk.
Being able to tell time has made it easier for people everywhere to live and work together.
Water clocks could tell time well enough to govern the length of time a person might talk in court or before an assembly, but they were nevertheless crude timepieces at best.
In this book, Jules Older gives readers and listeners a plethora o[ information on how and why we tell time.
Thousands of years ago people could tell time by looking up at the, stars.
How can primary teachers help children tell time and use the "language of time" with understanding?
The progression of lessons takes the student step by step in learning to tell time to the hour, to the half-hour, to the quarter-hour, and then to five-minute and one-minute intervals.