turn back the clock

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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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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, to, turn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
CUTLINE: Fitchburg author Sean Sweeney poses with his book, "Turning Back the Clock."
"New York City has affirmed its place as the capital of the world when instead of turning back the clock, we turned the corner to build the greatest sports and convention center ever conceived."
Under the reign of Putin and his KGB cohorts, known collectively as siloviki, Russia has been "turning back the clock to Soviet times."
Your readers will have shared my amusement that retired Labour and Tory politicians believe they can bring about a revolution at City Hall by turning back the clock. While I agree with this gang of four ex-Lord Mayors from across the political divide that a change of administration in Cardiff is long overdue, I am less convinced this marriage of convenience of former party politicians, previously rejected either by the electorate or their own parties, really offers the change required.
Now the food industry--encouraged by a hands-off Food and Drug Administration--is turning back the clock.
At the same time, those who accused the militants of turning back the clock were wrong.
HARD-UP Kettering Town is turning back the clock on Saturday - when their players wear 1970s-style kit.