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Related to ticking: ticking bomb
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(the) clock is ticking
1. There is only a finite amount of time left. The clock is ticking, so be sure to complete your exams efficiently so you don't have to skip questions. They have a chance to tie the game, but the clock is ticking. I know it is a pessimistic view, but in my mind, the clock is ticking on the human race.
2. Of a woman, there is a limited amount of time in which to be able to conceive a child. I've been very successful in my career and want to see it to its fullest, but I would also love to have kids, and I know my clock is ticking. For women who may want to have children, the clock is always ticking—a concern that men never have to worry about.
a (ticking) time bomb
A person, thing, or situation that can at any moment cause much havoc or result in a disastrous outcome. I'm telling you, this dirty money we're using to finance the campaign is a ticking time bomb! If anyone were to investigate how we got it, we'd all go to jail! Jenny's attracted to men who exude an air of danger, and her new boyfriend seems like a time bomb.
biological clock is ticking
Of a woman, there is a limited amount of time in which to be able to conceive a child. I've been very successful in my career and want to see it to its fullest, but I would also love to have kids, and I know my biological clock is ticking. For women who may want to have children, their biological clocks are always ticking—a concern that men never have to worry about.
take a licking and keep on ticking
To continue to function, endure, or persevere despite suffering injuries, damage, setbacks, losses, failures, etc. Taken from an advertisement for Timex wrist-watches: "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking." When you're younger, your body can take a licking and keep on ticking, so it's easy to fall into a false sense of invulnerability. This old truck of mine has taken quite a licking over the years, and it just keeps on ticking.
take a licking but keep on ticking
To continue to function, endure, or persevere despite suffering injuries, damage, setbacks, losses, failures, etc. Taken from an advertisement for Timex wrist-watches: "It takes a Licking and keeps on ticking." When you're younger, your body can take a licking but keep on ticking, so it's easy to fall into a false sense of invulnerability. This old truck of mine has taken quite a licking over the years, but it just keeps on ticking.
tick all the (right) boxes
To satisfy or fulfill everything that is necessary or desired. Primarily heard in UK. Of course, a prospective employee may tick all the right boxes on paper but might not be suited to the job once they're actually working for you. His newest thriller ticks all the boxes the author's fans will be hoping for.
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.
Of time, to disappear or pass by continuously. I hated that class. Every day I just sat in my chair watching the minutes tick by on the clock. The days continue ticking by while the world waits to see if a peace treaty can be agreed upon by the two nations.
1. Of a timer or something similar, to show the time decreasing to some amount or the point at which something ends. I had to sit in detention after class each week, watching the clock tick down to 5 PM. We set up a timer beside our chess board and tried to finish each game before it ticked down all the way.
2. Of some amount or period of time, to decrease or draw to an end. We only had five more weeks until the deadline, and it felt like time kept ticking down faster each day. I always hated the feeling of the summer ticking down when I was a kid.
1. To make someone particularly annoyed, angry, or frustrated. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tick" and "off." It really ticks me off the way people drive in the bus lane, when they clearly aren't supposed to! Nothing ticked off my mom more than having people come into the house with dirty shoes.
2. To make a mark next to an item on a list to indicate it as present, acquired, completed, etc.; to check off. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tick" and "off." I picked up some bananas on the way home, so you can tick those off the list. We'll be done as soon as everything on the agenda has been ticked off.
3. To complete or acquire an item on a list. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tick" and "off." I have a few more accomplishments I'd like to tick off before I turn 40.
4. To list or enumerate something, often several things, without much effort. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tick" and "off." Rob can tick off so many bands that I've never even heard of. If you're having trouble remembering that formula, just ask Denise—she can tick it off with no problem.
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.
1. Of some amount of time, to elapse unabated. The minutes ticked past at a snail's pace as I sat twiddling my thumbs in detention. It's been five years since my first son was born, but they've all ticked past in a blur.
2. Of someone or something, to pass by very regularly or frequently. The people and buildings ticked past as we zipped along on the highway. The procession of motorcycles ticked past one by one through the streets.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[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.
tick someone off
to make someone angry. That really ticks me off! Doesn't that tick off everyone?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
clock is ticking, the
The time (for something to be done) is passing quickly; hurry up. For example, The clock is ticking on that project. This allusion to a stopwatch is often used as an admonition to speed something up. It also is used in more specific form- one's biological clock is ticking-meaning that a woman may soon be too old to bear a child, as in Her biological clock is ticking-she just turned forty.
See also: clock
Infuriate, make angry. For example, That article ticked me off. [Colloquial; second half of 1900s] For a vulgar synonym, see piss off.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
To pass. Used of time: As the minutes ticked by, we became worried that we would miss the train.
1. To make someone angry or annoyed: Constant delays ticked me off. The arrogant actor ticked off the director.
2. To mark some item on a list with a check or tick: The teacher ticked off each name as the roll was called. As the guests arrived, we ticked them off the list.
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.