turn the clock back, to

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turn back the clock

1. Literally, to set the clock to an earlier time. Can you turn back the clock? It's five minutes fast.
2. To revisit, recount, or recreate a time or era from the past. If I could turn back the clock, I would manage my finances better so I could retire at an earlier age. The purpose of this conference is to turn back the clock by analyzing early human remains to gain insight into their way of life.
See also: back, clock, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

turn back the clock

 and turn the clock back
See also: back, clock, turn

turn the clock back

 and turn back the clock 
1. Lit. to set a clock to an earlier time. I have to turn the clocks back each fall. Please turn back the clock.
2. Fig. to try to return to the past. You are not facing up to the future. You are trying to turn the clock back to a time when you were more comfortable. Let us turn back the clock and pretend we are living at the turn of the centurythe time that our story takes place.
See also: back, clock, turn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turn the clock back

or

turn back the clock

COMMON If you would like to turn the clock back or to turn back the clock, you would like to return to an earlier period, usually because you would like the chance to change something that you did in the past. I'd like to turn the clock back and do things differently, but I can't. If I could turn back the clock, I might not have said that. Note: You can use the verb put instead of turn. No amount of money — not even millions like this — can put back the clock and change what happened.
See also: back, clock, turn
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

turn back the clock

return to the past or to a previous way of doing things.
See also: back, clock, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

turn the clock back, to

To return to an earlier way of life; to restore past conditions. This metaphor dates from the nineteenth century and generally represents a vain attempt to return to a past era. “You can’t turn back the hands of the clock,” wrote Erle Stanley Gardner (The Case of the Turning Tide, 1941).
See also: clock, turn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
What IS stand for is simple, they want to destroy the western style of life and force all the world to follow their version of Islam; they also want to turn the clock back to the 11th century.
Are we really going to be the ones to turn the clock back centuries?
If you are reading this and are either ex Electrical Branch or you know somebody who is, help me to turn the clock back. Just think, a mess mate off your old ship might be looking for you!
If you are either ex Electrical Branch or you know someone who is, help me to turn the clock back. Relive the good times, the runs ashore in a foreign port, the camaraderie and the good bits.
Is this yet another example of UKIPPERs wanting to turn the clock back? G
HOW many readers would like to turn the clock back? Especially if is to when they were in the Royal Navy at HMS.
HOW many of your readers would like to turn the clock back, especially if is to when they were in the Royal Navy and serving on the 'warship' Hitler tried to sink during the Second World War, HMS Collingwood at Fareham in Hampshire?
Equally appalling is his government's apparent willingness to demonise the poor and vulnerable, and to turn the clock back to the age of the deserving and undeserving poor.
Scotland is far too important to turn the clock back 300 years.
DAVID MARSHALL is urging Cardiff to turn the clock back and give Derby another spanking.
We want a Government with the guts to turn the clock back to the 1930s and 40s when the punishment fitted the crime.
"We don't want to turn the clock back to the days when you had two cleaners doing the same job, but getting different pay.
"People told me 'you can't turn the clock back' but I didn't want to turn the clock back, I just wanted a fresher look, to look pretty again," said the mother-of-two, from Llandudno.
They fear she will attempt to turn the clock back on affirmative action and laws against age discrimination, housing discrimination, and corporate abuse.
If you were to turn the clock back one year and do a survey of companies offering storage virtualization products, you would be lucky to find three.