turn the clock back

turn the/(one's) clock(s) back

To adjust the time on one's clock(s) back by one hour to account for the end of daylight saving time. Don't forget to turn your clock back tonight. I hate having to turn the clocks back every autumn, it's such an antiquated custom.
See also: back, 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

turn the clock back


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

put/turn the ˈclock back

return to the past; return to old-fashioned ideas, customs, etc: Sometimes I wish I could turn the clock back to my days as a student.These new restrictions on medical research will undoubtedly put the clock back (by) 20 years.
See also: back, clock, put, turn
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.
LEAVING the EU would turn the clock back on women's rights by "decades", hitting equal pay and protection against pregnancy discrimination, a new report has warned.
We can't turn the clock back but nor must we turn our backs when a human tragedy is unfolding off the shores of Europe.
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.
The HMS Collingwood Association is looking for those who either loved or loathed the place to turn the clock back and join us on our next visit.
LEON PRYCE will turn the clock back six years when he embarks on his new career in France after being handed the number three jersey by Catalan Dragons.
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.
Overall, one in five British workers were unhappy in their jobs and if they could turn the clock back, more than half would choose a different profession.
A rise in protectionism could turn the clock back a long way.
If I could turn the clock back I would have been a striker, out there running around and giving goalkeepers a hard time.
They fear she will attempt to turn the clock back on affirmative action and laws against age discrimination, housing discrimination, and corporate abuse.
I might not agree with everything that Stan Clarke has done, but turn the clock back ten years and the transformation he has made with this place is absolutely remarkable.