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

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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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1968 to 1971 when the clocks went forward, Britain experimented with keeping BST and not turning the clocks back for winter.
Not turning the clocks back in October could have what benefit to the leisure and tourism industries, according to a report?
TURNING the clocks back this weekend will spark a rise in car insurance claims.
Roman Piekarski turning the clocks back Picture: ROB STRATFORD
I HOPE you enjoyed our wonderfully sunny October to the full because tomorrow you are going to be plunged into darkness as we punish ourselves by turning the clocks back yet again.
But the fall ritual of turning the clocks back will soon be postponed by one week.
Certainly not the farmers, as I have been farming for 60 years and have always detested turning the clocks back.