ticking

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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.
See also: clock, ticking

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.
See also: and, keep, licking, on, take, 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.
See also: but, keep, licking, on, take, 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.
See also: all, box, tick

tick over

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.
See also: over, tick

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.
See also: bomb, time

tick (one) off

To make someone particularly annoyed, angry, or frustrated. It really ticks me off the way people drive in the bus lane, when they clearly aren't supposed to! Nothing ticked my mom off more than having guests come into the house with dirty shoes.
See also: off, tick

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

tick over

v.
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.
See also: over, tick
References in periodicals archive ?
If the ticking has a good feel to it, then that will invite them to lie down.
So he is privy to the cover fabrics under development by ticking manufacturers.
That retailer experience led Shoffner to put a Deslee Textiles aloe vera ticking product on the Park Place Aloe Therapy mattress line.
Some small inroads have been made as lower end foam mattress ticking for use in convertible sofas.
It could have a possible use as furniture upholstery or mattress ticking.
For applications such as crib ticking, develop some type of film laminate to replace vinyl in baby cribs.
Earlier this summer, Classic went a step further with the addition of a bamboo-based ticking on three of its Dormia collection models.
Classic has been combining this ticking with a New Zealand lambs' wool cushioning layer for an even better effect, according to Knapick, since the wool is allergy-free and can absorb up to 30 percent of its own weight in water vapor without feeling wet.
Furniture retailer Jim Gabbert dismisses the notion of stylish mattress ticking.
I think fashionable ticking fabric is an oxymoron and a pretty silly idea," said Gabbert, CEO and chairman of Gabberts Furniture & Design Studio in Edina, Minn.
Stearns & Foster's newest top-of-the-line model, the Bonne Nuit, offered two potential conversation pieces: a ticking surface with the image of a stained-glass window from the Notre Dame Cathedral and a retail price tag of $5,000 for a queen-size set.
a single-store operation, was able to work with Bemco Associates to get a particular look on his floor by asking for a slightly darker ticking on a mattress than Bemco normally carried.
Boyd introduced a trizone latex bed with a firm lumbar section, edge support and a new lyocell stretch ticking that conforms to the body.
And increasingly, these manufacturers are relying more heavily on ticking suppliers -- such as Culp, Burlington House, Bekaert and Blumenthal -- to create a style hook that will draw the buyer to their "box.
Choosing four or five ticking fabrics for a new collection was once the norm, with the fanciest fabric going on the most expensive mattress.