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Related to tick over: tick off
1. Of an engine, to run at an idle pace in neutral while the vehicle is not moving. Primarily heard in UK. I won't stay any longer, as I've left the car ticking over outside.
2. To continue operating steadily but uneventfully. Primarily heard in UK. A: "How are things lately, Jeff?" B: "Just ticking over, can't complain really." They decided to leave one person in charge to make sure business ticked over during the long break.
3. To record or be recorded, as on a clock or other mechanical counting device. The Irish squad will be glad to see the first half tick over, as they'll need to regroup if they want to beat this Italian team. The taxi's meter had just ticked over £35 when we pulled into Heathrow Airport.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To be recorded on some mechanical counting device: When the second quarter of the game ticked over, the home team was leading by two points.
2. To record something. Used of a mechanical counting device: The clock ticked over the ninetieth minute, and the game ended in a tie. As the car's odometer ticked the fifth mile over, we began looking for the turn.
3. To function characteristically or well. Used chiefly in the progressive: Because everyone works hard, the business is really ticking over.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.