watch the clock

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watch the clock

To continually check the time because one desires something to end, typically because one is bored or is anxiously waiting to start a different activity. I was supposed to work on that spreadsheet, but I just watched the clock for the last two hours. Quit watching the clock and pay attention, Janine. We still have a lot of material to cover before class ends.
See also: clock, watch

watch the clock

wait eagerly for the end of working hours.
It is from this expression that the word clock-watcher has developed, referring to someone who is determined not to work more than their allotted hours.
See also: clock, watch

watch the ˈclock

(disapproving) often check what time it is, because you are impatient for something to finish or to happen: Someone who spends all their time watching the clock is usually not a good worker. ▶ ˈclock-watching noun: Don’t spend the afternoon clock-watching. ˈclock-watcher noun
See also: clock, watch
References in periodicals archive ?
The plaintiff, a civilian medical records technician, complained that her supervisor, Ivan Arroyo, constantly complained about the way she dressed, watched the clock when she conversed with patients and told doctors his "personal opinion about [her] person.
It carried on this morning: just every aspect of a year ago came back to me, and I watched the clock go down to 9.
But Breech dropped him for a 6-yard loss and with no timeouts left the Mustangs watched the clock expire.
DAVIDJAMES watched the clock tick-ing down as England trailed 2-1 toBrazil in the quarter-finals of theWorld Cup and realised his tournament was over before it had even started.
We are reminded that available drugs don't work for everyone as we have watched the clocks run out on our loved ones, and we have waited as scientific conferences come and go with no major breakthroughs.