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1. Of time, to disappear or pass by continuously. I hated that class. Everyday I just sat in my chair watching the minutes tick away on the clock. The days continue ticking away while the world waits to see if a peace treaty can be agreed upon by the two nations.
2. To continue carrying on or functioning as expected or as usual. Used almost exclusively in the continuous tense. A: "How are you doing, Bill?" B: "Ah, just ticking away. Same old, same old, really." We've been in business for nearly 60 years, and we're still ticking away with the same dedication to customer service as ever.
[for seconds or minutes] to go by as the clock ticks. The seconds ticked away as the fateful time got closer. As time ticked away, the surgeons worked feverishly to repair the walls of Roger's heart.
1. To function characteristically or well: That old car is still ticking away.
2. To be gradually depleted. Used of an interval of time: The final seconds ticked away.