tick away

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tick away

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.
See also: away, tick
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tick away

[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.
See also: away, tick
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tick away

v.
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.
See also: away, tick
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately as time has ticked away those hopes have been dashed.
THE first effects of the planned strike by British Airways cabin crew emerged as time ticked away to avert the action.
PLEAS for thieves to return Toga the penguin poured in last night as the missing baby's last hours ticked away.
This time he knocked the ball in from close range after Laurens Ten Heuvel got in a header, with United desperately trying to snatch an equaliser, as the seconds ticked away deep into stoppage time.
Thistle continued to throw more men forward and caused Celtic problems as the seconds ticked away and Bobby Mann had a late header cleared off the line by substitute John Kennedy with the Celtic defence again looking rattled.
Andy McCraw appeared to have clinched victory for the home side as the seconds ticked away. But from the re- start, Clach surged upfield, won a penalty and Bruce McCraw levelled.