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time, n., int., and conj.

Brit. /tʌɪm/
U.S. /taɪm/
Forms:  eOE tiema (West Saxon, rare), OE tim- (in compounds), OE tima, OE tyma, OE (chiefly late) ME– time, lOE–17 tyme, ME teime, ME teme (northern), ME tjme, ME tyne (transmission error), ME 16 teyme, ME 16 tim, ME–16 tym, lME tome (transmission error), 15 taym, 15 thyme, 18– tahm (English regional (north-eastern)), 18– tahme (English regional (north-eastern)), 18– toime (English regional (Lancashire) and Irish English); Scottish pre-17 taim, pre-17 tayem, pre-17 taym, pre-17 tayme, pre-17 tem, pre-17 teyme, pre-17 thyme, pre-17 tiem, pre-17 tyem, pre-17 tymm, pre-17 tymme, pre-17 17 tym, pre-17 17– time, pre-17 17– tyme, pre-17 (19– southern) teime, pre-17 19– tim, 19– toime (Orkney); also Irish English 18 deem (Wexford), 19– tim (northern, in compounds). (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A word inherited from Germanic.
Etymology: Cognate with German regional (Alemannic) zīmə   (recorded in written sources as Zimen   (neuter) time, time of the year, opportune time, opportunity (1556)), Old Icelandic tími   (masculine) time, season, occasion, fit or proper time, prosperity, Old Swedish time   time, period of time, hour, occasion, opportunity, appointed time, appropriate time, circumstances of the time (Swedish timme  , now chiefly ‘hour’), Old Danish time   time, period of time, hour, occasion, appropriate time (Danish time  , now chiefly ‘hour’), showing a formation < the same Germanic base as tide n.   with a different derivative suffix (ultimately the same Indo-European suffix as probably shown also by e.g. gum n.1, swime n., classical Latin sēmen  ).
The origin of the shared base of time n.   and tide n.   is uncertain and disputed: it is often identified ultimately with the same Indo-European base as ancient Greek δαίεσθαι   to divide, Sanskrit day-   to divide, allot, although a different account connects it ultimately with the same Indo-European base as classical Latin diū   for a long time, Sanskrit dyūn   (in anu dyūn   throughout the days, all the time), and the second element of Gothic sinteino   always; compare also Armenian ti   age, which may be related (it is normally derived from a reconstructed form which would be an exact parallel for tide n.), although it is difficult to connect this with either of these Indo-European bases.
Form history.
In Old English usually a weak masculine (tīma  ); in later Old English a strong masculine (tīme  ) is also attested. The West Saxon form tiema   shows a reverse spelling after the monophthongization of ῑe   (compare A. Campbell Old Eng. Gram. (1959) §300).
In modern Scots the form tim   shows an unstressed variant; it is also found in Irish English (northern) in compounds, as e.g. suppertim   supper time.
Semantic history.
In a number of specific senses probably after similar specific uses of the word for ‘time’ in Latin and in Romance languages.
In sense A. 20   (with reference to weather) probably partly after post-classical Latin tempus (12th cent. in this sense), and partly after Middle French temps weather (12th cent. in Old French in this sense).
In senses A. 23   (in prosody) and A. 29   (in music) probably ultimately after classical Latin tempus denoting a unit of length of sound. In uses in music at sense A. 26   probably ultimately after similar uses of post-classical Latin tempus (see tempus n.) or Italian tempo (see tempo n.1).
In sense A. 25   (in grammar) after Middle French temps (14th cent. in this sense) or classical Latin tempus (see tense n.).
In sense A. 30   (in dressage) after French temps (1680 or earlier in this sense).
In Old English largely overlapping in sense with (more common) tīd  tide n.   The two words occasionally occur together, sometimes as synonyms; compare:
OE   Lambeth Psalter xxxvi. 39   Protector eorum in tempore tribulationis: gescyldnes uel beweriend heora on timan uel on tide gedrefednysse.
OE   Note on Six Ages of World (Hatton 113) in A. S. Napier Wulfstan (1883) 312   An yld is geteald of Adame to Noe.., fifte of ðam heregange to Cristes gebyrdtiman, sixte of ures drihtnes gebyrdtide to þam ende, þe god ana wat.
▸ 1440   Promptorium Parvulorum (Harl. 221) 494   Tyme, idem quod tyyde [1499 Pynson tyme, whyle, tempus].
And sometimes with (more or less) clearly distinct senses; compare:
OE   Guthlac A 754   Hwæt we þissa wundra gewitan sindon! Eall þas geeodon in ussera tida timan.
OE   Judgement Day II 83   Nu þu scealt greotan, tearas geotan, þa hwile tima sy and tid wopes.
OE   Laws: Norðhymbra Preosta Lagu (Corpus Cambr.) xxxvi. 382   Gif preost on gesetne timan tida ne ringe oððe tida ne singe, gebete þæt.
c1175  (▸OE)    Ælfric's Homily on Nativity of Christ (Bodl. 343) in A. O. Belfour 12th Cent. Homilies in MS Bodl. 343 (1909) 78   Nes nan timæ ne nefræ nane tide, ne nan oðre gesceaft þe he ane ne isceop.
Compare also time and (also or) tide   at Phrases 1h.
In senses A. 18, A. 19   the usual word in Old English and early Middle English is sithe n.1
 A. n.
 I. An extent of time.
 * Considered as a period.

 a. A finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time (in its infinite sense: see sense A. 34a); a period. Frequently with preceding modifying adjective, as a long time, a short time, etc.

OE   tr. Defensor Liber Scintillarum (1969) ix. 96   Multi enim se credebant longo tempore uiuere : soðlice hi gelyfdon lange timan lybban.
c1225  (?c1200)    St. Katherine (Bodl.) (1981) 159 (MED)   He heold on to herien his heaðne maumez wið misliche lakes, long time of þe dei.
a1375   William of Palerne (1867) l. 318 (MED)   Þei ful faire han me fostered and fed a long time.
a1450  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Lamb.) (1887) i. l. 4190   [Caesar] tok his leue..To wende fro þem for longe teymes.
c1450   tr. G. Deguileville Pilgrimage Lyfe Manhode (Cambr.) (1869) 55   It is a long time gon that no wiht bledde of his blood.
1516   R. Fabyan New Chron. Eng. vii. 505   Some..were holdyn in for a tyme, to practis & shewe vnto the newe how they shuld ordre & guyde the sayd offyces.
1567   W. Painter Palace of Pleasure II. xxix. f. 315   During the time that supper was preparing.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Tempest (1623) iii. ii. 86   After a little time Ile beate him too.  
1670   Sir S. Crow in 12th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1890) App. v. 15   [Hangings] that—for a time—will look better to the eye.
1712   J. Addison Spectator No. 475. ¶2   She hopes to be married in a little time.
1794   A. Radcliffe Myst. of Udolpho II. xii. 460   Annette..was absent a considerable time.
1833   Philos. Mag. 3 242   If a person inspire deeply, he will be able immediately after to hold breath for a time, varying with his health.
1882   Manufacturer & Builder May 112/3   A jelly-like carbonaceous mineral..was found in a peat bog at Scranton, Pa., a short time ago.
1910   Crimson-White (Univ. Alabama) 6 Oct. 1/3   Then the two teams lined up and scrimmaged for quite a time.
1949   Times 2 May 6/3   This year's tennis championship..is taking an unconscionable time to get into its stride.
1982   I. Hamilton Robert Lowell xxiv. 430   He hesitated for a time over signing a necessary deed.
2004   D. Lodge Author, Author ii. viii. 186   It was a long time since Henry had worked on the play, and he was impatient for rehearsals to begin.

OE—2004(Hide quotations)

 b. A specific period of time.

(a) An hour. Compare tide n. 2. Obsolete. rare.

a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 80   His firme kinde dei was a-gon On walkenes turn, wid dai and nigt Of foure and twenti time rigt.
c1390   Castle of Love (Vernon) (1967) l. 1405 (MED)   Riht into helle he eode; Fourti tymen [v.r. tymes; Fr. ures] þer he wes þo þat he vprisen ches.

a1325—c1390(Hide quotations)


 (b) A period of time mentioned in certain biblical passages, usually understood to be a year.Almost entirely in the form a time and times and half a time , this being sometimes used hyperbolically to denote an extremely or inordinately long time.

c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Royal) (1850) Apoc. xii. 14   She is fed bi tyme, and tymes, and the half of tyme [v.r. half a tyme; L. alitur per tempus et tempora et dimidium temporis].
c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) Dan. xii. 7   For in to tyme, and tymys, and the half of tyme [L. in tempus, et tempora, et dimidium temporis].
1482   W. Caxton tr. Higden's Prolicionycion iii. iii. f. cxvii   He shal greue god almyghties holy people that shal be bitaken vnto his hande vnto the tyme and tymes and halfe a tyme that is vnto a yere and two yeres and half a yere.
1526   Bible (Tyndale) Rev. xii. 14   She is norysshed for a tyme, tymes, and halffe a tyme. [Similarly in later versions.]
1584   E. Paget tr. J. Calvin Harmonie vpon Three Euangelists 643   First he spake thus, the calamitie of the church shall endure for a time, times, and halfe a time. But now he reckeneth the thre yeares and sixe moneths by dayes.
1631   B. Jonson Staple of Newes iii. ii. 129 in Wks. II   The Saints do write, they expect a Prophet, shortly, The Prophet Baal, to be sent ouer to them, To calculate a time, and halfe a time, and the whole time, according to Naömetry.
1657   J. Rowland tr. J. Johnstone Hist. Constancy of Nature 10   That Woman in the Apocalyps..which had lain hidden there for a Time, Times, and Half a time, or 245. yeers.
1772   G. Killingworth Paradise Regained 16   The time which their prophecy will continue..is a time, times, and an half time, or 1200 days.
1841   Gospel Mag. Nov. 347   He will wield his sword with terrific violence..causing them to retreat to their chambers in sackcloth and ashes until the times and time and half-a-time shall have ended.
1905   S. N. Haskell Story Seer of Patmos iii. 64   A parable of the church history during the time, times, and half a time—the three and one half years of the papal supremacy.
1922   Atlantic Monthly Nov. 591/1   I see a group of Chinese gentlemen..spend ‘time, times and half a time’ delicately fingering a few jades.
1984   G. W. Buchanan Jesus, King & his Kingdom vi. 203   The ‘time, two times, and half a time’ that took place between the defilement and the rededication of the temple.

c1384—1984(Hide quotations)


 c. With of or (more commonly) genitive. The space of a specified period of time. Esp. after in (also within) indicating a limit of time.The premodifying genitive plural is frequently written without an apostrophe.

c1430   N. Love Mirror Blessed Life (Brasenose e.9) (1908) 44   Thou moste abyde the tyme of nyne monthes: that is while thou art noȝt perfiȝtly grounded in vertues.
1450   in Sections Assembly Bk. A Shrewsbury Guild Hall 34 (MED)   Un to the tyme that the time of vj yere of on apprentice be fully complesched & passed.
c1565   R. Copland Seuen Sorowes Women iii. sig. B.iv   Would God sayth she that I were vnlaced Or els may chaunce with chylde that she go Of .x. wekes tyme.
1600   C. Tourneur Transformed Metamorph. sig. Cv   One day? nay sure a twelue-months time t'will be, Ere seriant death will call me at my doore.
1656   Earl of Monmouth tr. T. Boccalini Ragguagli di Parnasso i. xxviii. 77   The Macedonians..thought to have sipt up every mans State in less then a months time.
1693   C. Mather Diary in Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. (1911) 7th Ser. VII. 167   A Distemper, which in less than a Week's time usually carried off my Neighbours.
1748   J. Wesley Wks. (1872) II. 92   There was to begin in an hour's time a famous cockfight.
1786   P. Lovelass Law's Disposal Person's Estate (ed. 2) 175   In the time of six days they could not procure any other land or place to put in the cattle.
1843   J. H. Ingraham Fanny ix. 27   You shall be in Boston in an hour and a half's time.
1898   Cosmopolitan July 264/1   Within a year's time Uncle Sam will have five more battleships.
1904   Collier's 7 May 19/3 (advt.)    It costs you but a few minutes time.
1910   Carpenter Aug. 29/1   A candidate failing to present himself for initiation within the time of four weeks, after his initiation fee had been paid in full.
1946   Harper's Mag. Dec. 555/1   Well sure enough, they wasn't hardly two months' time betwixt the weddin' and the funeral.
2010   Independent on Sunday 27 June (New Review) 5/2   Bikes in 20 years' time will be chainless.

c1430—2010(Hide quotations)


 a. A particular period indicated or characterized in some way, either explicitly (usually with of) or by anaphoric reference (as at the time, etc.).for the time: see Phrases 3i(a).peacetime, plague time, war time, etc.: see the first element.

OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 2nd Ser. (Cambr. Gg.3.28) xx. 194   Hit is awriten be ðam yfelum timan.
OE   Wulfstan Last Days (Hatton) 134   Wa ðam wifum þe þonne tymað & on þam earmlican timan heora cild fedað.
OE   Wulfstan Outline of Hist. (Hatton) (1957) 155   Æfter þisum fæce gyt gewurðan sceall swa egeslic tima swa næfre [corrected in MS from æfre] ær næs.
?a1160   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough contin.) anno 1137   On al þis yuele time heold Martin abbot his abbotrice xx wintre & half gær & viii dæis.
c1325  (c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) l. 1321   Þe prinse..Þat in time of worre as a lomb is boþe mek & milde & in time of pes as leon boþe cruel & wilde.
1340   Ayenbite (1866) 68   Yef me him zent aduersete, pouerte, ziknesse, dyere time, rayn, druȝþe.
c1400  (c1378)    W. Langland Piers Plowman (Laud 581) (1869) B. x. l. 72   Sithen þe pestilence tyme.
?a1425  (c1400)    Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 59 (MED)   In þat tyme þere weren iij heroudes of gret name & loos for here crueltee.
1474   W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) ii. iv. 53   As the Knyghtes shold kepe ye peple in tyme of peas.
1551   R. Robinson in tr. T. More Vtopia sig. ✠vv   Ye old acquayntaunce, that was betwene you and me in the time of our childhode.
1589   T. Nashe To Students in R. Greene Menaphon Epist. sig. **3v   Saint Iohns in Cambridge, that at that time was..shining so farre aboue all other Houses, Halls, and Hospitalls.
1665   G. Havers tr. P. della Valle Trav. E. India 78   The See of Goa at the time of my being there was not finish'd.
a1680   S. Butler Genuine Remains (1759) I. 114   To pass his Times of Recreation In choice and noble Conversation.
1706   Serious Admon. Youth ii. 20   A Man some Years since Executed at Dorchester, whose Legs rotted off during the time of his Confinement.
a1774   A. Tucker Light of Nature Pursued (1777) III. iv. 389   Though the time for them be over, yet Time itself is not exhausted.
1808   W. Scott in J. Dryden Wks. XV. 379   John Taylor..wrote eighty books, which not only made such sport at the time, but were thought worthy of being remitted into a large folio.
1875   B. Jowett in tr. Plato Dialogues (ed. 2) IV. 233   All times of mental progress are times of confusion.
1920   Stage Year Bk. 51   Film stock..became scarce, for there was no plant for manufacturing this in Britain at the time.
1991   Christian Sci. Monitor 31 Oct. 16/3   For me, it was a time of simplification, a slow unburdening.
2010   Searcher Feb. 42/1   Newark siege pieces were produced during the time of the British Civil Wars in the mid-17th century.

OE—2010(Hide quotations)


 b. With the. Used in various expressions to indicate the extent to which an action, state, etc., takes place, occurs, or endures, or has always been the case, as all the time, much of the time, etc.

1684   L. W. Finch in L. W. Finch et al. tr. Cornelius Nepos Lives Illustr. Men Ded. sig. a8   He is the Master of true Courage, that all the time sedately stemms the Ship.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 296. ⁋7   The Ladies..laugh immoderately all the Time.
1726   Philos. Trans. 1725 (Royal Soc.) 33 427   We try'd under a double reef'd Mainsail, great Part of the Time.
1833   A. Sutton Narr. Mission to Orissa xi. 322   The generality of the people heard well some of the time, and some of them all the time.
1879   Scribner's Monthly July 357/1   The women are occupied much of the time in preparing farinha.
1923   E. Hemingway Three Stories & Ten Poems 18   Part of the time he talked in D'Ampezzo dialect and sometimes in Tyroler German dialect.
1947   J. Van Druten Voice of Turtle ii. ii. 90   Isn't it funny, to think that all those things, like electricity, were there all the time..just waiting to be discovered?
1969   Guardian 14 Feb. 11/1   Much of the time I feel like death. I am in rather a bad temper.
2010   Ultra Fit Apr. 31/1 (heading)    You've..looked in the mirror, sucked in your stomach and thought, ‘I wish I could look like this all the time.’

1684—2010(Hide quotations)


 a. Usually with possessive. The period during which a person or thing lives, occupies a particular position, is active in a particular sphere, exercises influence or dominance, etc.; (sometimes) spec. the lifetime of a person or animal. Also: one's lifetime up to the present (esp. in in one's time ).life's time: see life n. Compounds 4b.

OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Royal) (1997) xxviii. 417   Uton we beon carfulle þæt ure tima mid idelnysse ne losie.
OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Cambr. Gg.3.28) Pref. 175   His tima ne bið na langsum, for ðan ðe godes grama hine fordeð.
a1225  (c1200)    Vices & Virtues (1888) 39   Behoueþ to charite on alle ðines liues time michel embeþanc of þohtes and of wordes and of werkes.
c1300   Havelok (Laud) (1868) l. 28 (MED)   It was a king bi are dawes, That in his time were gode lawes.
c1325  (▸1307)    in R. H. Robbins Hist. Poems 14th & 15th Cent. (1959) 19   Sum while in ys time he wes a modi knyht In huerte.
1372   in E. Wilson Descriptive Index Lyrics John of Grimestone's Preaching Bk. (1973) 26   To tellen of is time neuer no man kan.
a1400   tr. Lanfranc Sci. Cirurgie (Ashm.) (1894) 286 (MED)   I curide in my tyme ij men þat weren in aschite of hoot cause.
c1450  (a1425)    Metrical Paraphr. Old Test. (Selden) l. 12159 (MED)   My husband þat heyght Obedias..in his tyme to god was trew; now is he ded.
1535   Bible (Coverdale) Psalms cii[i]. 15   That a man in his tyme is but as is grasse.
c1550   Complaynt Scotl. (1979) i. 16   Of this sort euere thyng hes ane tyme.
1577   in Exch. Rolls Scotl. (1899) XX. 373   In the resyngnatioun, to hymself [and] his wyf, for their tym.
a1616   W. Shakespeare As you like It (1623) ii. vii. 142   One man in his time playes many parts.  
1657   G. Thornley tr. Longus Daphnis & Chloe 55   I am older then Saturn, and the whole time of this Universe.
1702   C. Mather Magnalia Christi ii. 66/2   In the vast Variety of Business, through which he Raced in his time, he met with many and mighty Injuries.
1775   W. Boutcher Treat. Forest-trees vii. 55   The fashions change, and many beautiful plants, as well as other things, have been out and in during my time.
1833   T. Carlyle in Fraser's Mag. Aug. 133/2   The foul sluggard's comfort: ‘It will last my time’.. . It will last thy time: thy worthless sham of an existence.
1898   Daily News 12 Mar. 6/3   Miss Farren has, indeed, played many parts in her time.
1901   T. P. Ollason Mareel 10   I never enjoyed a veesit ta Lerrick sae muckle i' me time.
1911   R. Brooke Poems 28   They were dead. They did not know it. They did not know their time was done.
1978   K. Amis Jake's Thing (1979) iv. 43   Just put it this way, in my time I've been to bed with well over a hundred women.
2009   P. T. Deutermann Nightwalkers 33   During my time I'd put more than one bad guy away, but so had all of us.

OE—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. The orbital period of a celestial object; = period n. 7b. Now chiefly in periodic time n. (a) at periodic adj.1 and n. Compounds.

1764   J. Ferguson Lect. Select Subj. ii. 21   The squares of the times of their going round are as the cubes of their distances from the centers of the circles they describe.
1850   Elem. Astron. xv. 262   The forces are the masses, and may be found by dividing the cube of the distance of a body moving round one of them divided by the square of its time.
1883   Kansas City Rev. Sci. & Industry Nov. 432   The squares of the times are equal to the cubes of distances. It follows then that if we square the periodic time of any planet, we know that the square is equal to the cube of its distance from the Sun.
2008   J. Ivie Knight Well Spent iii. 39   You've lived but a moon's time in this place.

1764—2008(Hide quotations)

 4. Usually with possessive or of. The period which is contemporary with the life, rule, activity, dominance, etc., of a specified person or group of people; (a person's) age, era, or generation. Cf. day n. 16.

 a. In singular.

OE   Laws of Edgar (Nero E.i) iv. ii. 208   Mine þegnas hæbben heora scipe on minum timan, swa hy hæfdon on mines fæder.
lOE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough interpolation) anno 654   On his time þa comon togadere heo & Oswiu Oswaldes broðor cyningas.
?a1160   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough contin.) anno 1137   Nu we willen sægen sumdel wat belamp on Stephnes kinges time.
?c1200   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 14429   Fra þatt tatt adam shapenn wass. Anan till noþess time.
c1325   in R. H. Robbins Hist. Poems 14th & 15th Cent. (1959) 29   Whenne shal þis be? Nouþer in þine tyme ne in myne.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1965) 3 Esdras ii. 16   In þe tymes of artaxersis king of persis writen to hym of þese þat dwelleden in Jude.
?a1425   in A. Hudson Eng. Wycliffite Serm. (1990) I. 265   Pharisees..weren religious in Cristys tyme.
1484   W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope v. f. cxxxviii   Poge of Florence recyteth how in his tyme one named Hugh prynce of the medycyns, sawe a catte whiche had two hedes.
c1510   T. More tr. G. F. Pico della Mirandola Lyfe J. Picus in Wks. 3/1   He scrupulously sought out all the famous doctours of his time.
a1568   R. Ascham Scholemaster (1570) ii. f. 37   Some men of our time,..haue so ouer reached them selues, in making trew difference in the poyntes afore rehearsed.
1625   F. Bacon Ess. (new ed.) 208   A Nobleman..that had the greatest Audits, of any Man in my Time.
1651   Bp. J. Taylor Rule & Exercises Holy Dying v. §5. 283   This advice was inserted into the penitential of England in the time of Theodore Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
1693   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 17 926   Since his time many Officinals have been fully illustrated in Print.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 497. ⁋2   In the time of Don Sebastian of Portugal.
1786   A. Gib Καινα και Παλαια: Sacred Contempl. i. v. iv. 65   The singular profligateness of our time.
1815   W. Wordsworth White Doe of Rylstone i. 5   In great Eliza's golden time.
1883   Harper's Mag. Oct. 682/2   He wore a white woollen, full-skirted coat, and small-clothes like the peasants of the time of Louis XIV.
1910   Encycl. Brit. I. 504/1   [Albertus Magnus] was the most widely read and most learned man of his time.
1976   Publishers Weekly 26 Apr. 52/3   Growth..has peaked in our time and now begun a decline.
2009   S. M. Warren Nothing but Trouble xi. 193   A coin struck during the time of Constantine the Great, from the fourth century AD.

OE—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. In plural.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) 3 Esdras i. 20   There is not solempnisid such a pasch in Irael, fro the times of Samuel [L. a temporibus Samuelis prophetae].
?c1400  (c1380)    G. Chaucer tr. Boethius De Consol. Philos. (BL Add. 10340) (1868) ii. met. v. 1345   I wolde þat oure tymes sholde turne aȝeyne to þe oolde maneres.
?a1475  (?a1425)    tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl. 2261) (1871) III. 73   So the yere stode as incorrecte from that tyme vn to the tymes of Iulius Cesar.
c1503   tr. Charter of London in R. Arnold Chron. f. xv/2   That they bee not lad by the lawes by which they were ledde in the weys holden in the tymes of John and herry Somtyme kynge of englande.
1600   Abp. G. Abbot Expos. Prophet Ionah 371   In the times of Herodotus, and Diodorus, the rudera, the ruines and desolations of Niniue stood.
1688   R. Holme Acad. Armory iii. 256   A Maunch or Sleeve of the newest Fashion, being now in use of the great Gallants of our times.
1716   A. Pope Ess. Homer's Battles in tr. Homer Iliad II. 323   Yet one cannot ascribe this to any Sterility of Expression, but to the Genius of his Times, that delighted in those reiterated Verses.
1732   G. Berkeley Alciphron I. v. xx. 308   The most ingenious Characterizer of our Times.
1832   Ld. Tennyson Dream Fair Women vi, in Poems (new ed.) 123   The spacious times of great Elizabeth.
1845   R. Ford Hand-bk. Travellers in Spain II. ix. 664   Such a saxeous metamorphosis was an old story even in skeptical Ovid's times.
1900   J. Huneker Mezzotints Mod. Music i. 35   Brahms is not only the greatest variationist of his times, but with Bach and Beethoven the greatest of all times.
1956   Saturday Bk. 213   Our modern ‘teddies’ are named after their Edwardian clothes—dress in the manner of the times of King Edward VII.
1989   R. Whiting You gotta have Wa (1990) iv. 85   Davis was a product of his times, of America's ‘quest for meaning’.
2010   J. Burbank & F. Cooper Empires in World Hist. v. 148   Neither the Spanish of Charles's times nor the Ottomans of Suleiman's could avoid all the perils of ruling empires.

a1382—2010(Hide quotations)


 a. A particular period in history, or in the existence of the world, the universe, etc.; an era, an epoch, an age.

OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 2nd Ser. (Cambr. Gg.3.28) xii. 110   Þry timan sind on þyssere worulde: Ante legem, Sub lege, Sub gratia; þæt is ær æ, under æ, under godes gife. Se tima is ær æ gecweden þe wæs fram Adam buton æ oð Moysen; [etc.].
OE   Lambeth Psalter: Canticles vi. 245   Utinam saperent et intelligerent ac nouissima prouiderent : eala þær hig hogodon & understodon & þa ændenyhstan timan forescawodon.
a1225  (?a1200)    MS Trin. Cambr. in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1873) 2nd Ser. 3 (MED)   Aduent..bitocneð þre time: On þe was bi-fore þe olde lage, þe oðer was on þe holde lage, and þe þridde was on þe newe lage.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Eccles. i. 11   But and of tho thingis..that ben aftir to come, shal not ben recording anent hem that be to come in the laste time [L. in novissimo].
1481   W. Caxton tr. Myrrour of Worlde iii. xxiii. sig. m8v   The most subtyl, and the best spekyng wyth all, that euer was lyuynge in erthe, or euer shal be in ony tyme of the world.
1535   W. Marshall tr. Marsilius of Padua Def. of Peace xi. f. 25   That thynge, whiche is obserued or marked of men of many dyuers ages or tymes.
1560   J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries Apol. sig. NNnv   Tully calleth an history the witnes of tymes, and light of veritie.
1632   J. Forbes Serm. 1 Tim. 2:4 30   If euer in any time of the world it was Gods will, that euery perticular man should be saued, it must needes be in this time.
1687   Elegy on Cleveland in J. Cleveland Wks. 285   'Tis your Crime T'upbraid the State-Poeticks of this time.
1757   S. Johnson Pref. to Rolt's Dict. Comm. in Wks. IX. 422   A time in which..commercial gain was sought with such general emulation.
1765   W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. I. Introd. 96   Sir Edward Coke, and the politicians of that time, conceived great difficulties in carrying on the projected union.
1839   R. Dawes Nix's Mate I. x. 264   There was a time when a true psychology existed,—or rather, when a perception of the soul's nature was permitted to man.
1865   M. E. Braddon Sir Jasper i. 3   A time in which men wore fantastically frizzed periwigs upon their heads.
1904   J. S. Jones Seeing Darkly iv. 82   There never has been a time of the world to which this terse and pithy sentence of the Hebrew prophet was not applicable.
1986   D. Hogan New Shirt ii. 145   He summed up the distress and the philosophy of that time, jazz, heroin..and marijuana.
2009   D. McKenzie Time to Speak p. xii   He spoke out forcefully during a time when only a handful of white Mississippians had the courage to speak out at all.

OE—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. More vaguely: a period of time distinguished (generally by an adjective or other modifier) as being in the past, present, or future with reference to the present moment. In later use frequently in plural, as ancient times, times past (see past adj. 2), etc.

OE   Seven Sleepers (Julius) (1994) 53   Hi wæron swa ær geo on ealdum dagum swa ðæt nis nan swa eald man þe hi nu on þisne timan mage geþencan oððe ær for fela gearan mihte gemunan swa gefyrn swa hi þine yldran wæron.
OE   tr. Defensor Liber Scintillarum (1969) lv. 332   Si qua id est aliqua est presentis temporis lętitia ita est agenda ut numquam amaritudo sequentis iudicii recedat a memoria : gif ænig ys andwerdes timan bliss swa heo ys to donne þæt næfre biternyss fyligendes domes gewite fram gemynde.
lOE   Writ of Edward the Confessor (Sawyer 1121) in F. E. Harmer Anglo-Saxon Writs (1952) 344   Ic ann þæt þridde treow..of æuesan þæs..wudes..se is gemæne swa he onn ældum timum gelegd wæs.
lOE   St. Neot (Vesp.) in R. D.-N. Warner Early Eng. Homilies (1917) 131   Eala, þu king, mycel scealt þu þoligen on þyssen life. On þan towearden time, swa mycele angsumnysse þu gebiden scealt, þæt nan mænnisc tunge hit eall asecgen ne mæig.
a1225  (c1200)    Vices & Virtues (1888) 35   All ðis halie mihte hes makede hem swiete...Swa hie doð ȝiet on ðese time munekes, kanunekes, ancres, and eremites.
c1325  (c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) 192   Fram þe biginning of þe world to þe time þat now is Seuene ages þer habbeþ ibe.
1389   in J. T. Smith & L. T. Smith Eng. Gilds (1870) 53   Hopyng in tyme comyng to haue ben encresyd.
c1440   tr. R. Rolle Oleum Effusum (Thornton) in G. G. Perry Eng. Prose Treat. (1921) 4   Þay sall Ioye nowe..and in tym to come.
c1450   Alphabet of Tales (1904) I. 107   Þe paynys þat er ordand..for syn in tyme to com.
1474   W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) iii. ii. 88   In tyme passid the philosophres dyde the same.
1488  (c1478)    Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) (1968–9) i. l. 6   It has beyne seyne in thir tymys bywent.
1510   R. Copland in tr. Kynge Appolyn of Thyre Prol. sig. Aiv   In tyme past hystoriagraphes dayly wrote..of..aduentures and fortunes happy and malfortunate.
1529   Act 21 Henry VIII c. 16 in Statutes of Realm (1963) III. 299   The great scarcyte of grayne and vytell at this present tyme.
1532–3   Act 24 Hen. VIII c. 2   In times past [they] haue..bene noted to haue had the most substanciall coloured wollen clothes.
1563   R. Reynolds Foundacion of Rhetorike f. xxxviii   Worthelie the pictures of Princes, Gouernours and Magistrates in auncient tymes doe shewe this.
1610   P. Holland tr. W. Camden Brit. i. 259   A towne in ancient time of great fame.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Macbeth (1623) iii. iv. 74   Blood hath bene shed ere now, i' th' olden time .  
1697   J. Dryden tr. Virgil Æneis viii, in tr. Virgil Wks. 436   In Times to come, My Waves shall wash the Walls of mighty Rome.
1706   Boston News-let. 28 Oct. 4/1   To Issue forth this Proclamation for the better preventing of such mischiefs for time to come.
1766   T. Pennant Brit. Zool. 26/1   The Maltese little dogs were..much esteemed by the fine ladies of past times.
1785   W. Cowper Task vi. 715   Encomium in old time was poet's work.
1818   W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian x, in Tales of my Landlord 2nd Ser. IV. 214   Many devout ministers and professors in times past had enjoyed downright revelation.
1884   W. C. Smith Kildrostan 86   It is a folly, man, A superstition of these modern times.
1891   C. Creighton Hist. Epidemics Brit. I. 276   Like dengue, influenza, and others of the ‘posting’ fevers of former time.
1911   C. B. Crampton Vegetation Caithness iv. 51   In recent times..Sphagnum bogs have been reduced to their present small proportion in the moorland associations.
1917   H. Greene Unhallowed Harvest xx. 361   The workingmen who had followed him blindly and confidently in times past had now turned upon him.
1957   J. R. R. Tolkien Let. 17 Nov. (1995) 262   There is I suppose applicability in my story to present times.
1989   A. Ballance Ocracokers p. ix   For all that might happen to the island in time to come, it will always have its past.
2004   R. Dawkins Ancestor's Tale 211   The gorgonopsids..whose fearsome canine teeth make one think of the sabretoothed cats..of later times.

OE—2004(Hide quotations)


 c. the time (also the times): the present age; the age of the period under discussion. Cf. day n. 14b, of the hour at hour n. 4a, moment n. Phrases 2. sign of the times: see sign n. Phrases 2.Sometimes hard to distinguish from sense A. 6a.

1484   W. Caxton tr. G. de la Tour-Landry Bk. Knight of Tower (1971) cxxi. 161   An ordenaunce of a moche sauage and wyld guyse, and ageynst the kynde of the tyme.
1525   Bible (Tyndale) Matt. xvi. 3   Can ye not discerne the sygnes of the tymes [c1384 Wycliffite, E.V. the tokenys of tymes; L. signa..temporum].
c1593   Thomas of Woodstock (2002) III. 127   I will do my best to reform the pestiferousness of the time.
1600   W. Shakespeare Merchant of Venice ii. ix. 47   How much honour Pickt from the chaft and ruin of the times, To be new varnist.
?1640   New Serm. of Newest Fashion (1877) 45   Hee is the onelie man of the time, hee is the onelie able man.
1676   A. Marvell Mr. Smirke sig. F   These are the great Animadverters of the times, the Church-respondents in the Pew.
a1704   T. Brown Dialogue Oxf. Schollars in Wks. (1707) I. i. 3   Cannot I..sigh for the Iniquities of the Times..?
1796   H. W. Coulthurst Evils Disobedience & Luxury 4   Civil Disobedience is the flagrant Characteristic of the Times.
1818   W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian iii, in Tales of my Landlord 2nd Ser. III. 75   The Lady..did not..ring a bell, because such was not the fashion of the time.
1850   Ld. Tennyson In Memoriam civ. 163   Ring out the want, the care, the sin, The faithless coldness of the times .  
1869   E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest III. xi. 55   An act which ran counter to the religious feelings of the time.
1910   S. W. Bushell Chinese Art II. 17   The poets of the time liken their wine cups to ‘disks of thinnest ice’.
1998   Art Room Catal. Christmas 35/3 (caption)    A Florentine painter and engraver who specialised in cityscapes and landscapes, as was the fashion of the time.
2009   Independent 3 Oct. 39/1   Some events lay bare the soul of a nation or, even more, the soul of the times.

1484—2009(Hide quotations)


 a. A period considered with reference to its prevailing conditions; the general state of affairs at a particular period. Usually in plural. Frequently as with the time(s) , in various phrases expressing adaptation to changing circumstances.to move with the times: see move v. 20b.

1484   W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope ii. viii. f. xlvi   Men say comynly that after that the tyme goth, so must folke go.
1535   Bible (Coverdale) 1 Macc. viii. C   The Romaynes shal stonde by them with a good wil, acordinge as the tyme wil suffre.
1544   A. Cope Hist. Anniball & Scipio lxix. f.132   My cuntreye, frome whense I came forthe but yonge, with the tymes sometyme chaungynge to prosperitie, sometyme to aduersytie.
1561   T. Norton tr. J. Calvin Inst. Christian Relig. i. xvii. f. 64   The tymes are suche, that the faithfull can not shewe suche a sight to the weake brethren, but that they shall sore wounde their consciences.
1603   W. Shakespeare Hamlet i. v. 189   The time is out of ioynt.
1645   Directory Publique Worship 82   So far as the time will give leave.
a1646   J. Burroughes Expos. Hosea (1652) ii. v. 249   We have many now who not long since have been very vile apostates, they have gone with the times, they saw preferment went such a way, and their hearts went that way.
a1720   J. Sheffield Wks. (1753) I. 179   One whom tame fools miscal a mod'rate man; That is, a mean complyer with the times.
1758   B. Franklin Poor Richard's Almanack 8   We may make these Times better if we bestir ourselves.
1768   Flagel 12   He set out well in life in his earlier days, went with the times and turned his coat twenty times in seven years.
1803   Cobbett's Weekly Polit. Reg. 17 Sept. 396   You perceived..that the times were changed again.
1837   J. H. Newman Parochial Serm. (ed. 2) III. xii. 178   When times grew cold and unbelieving.
1845   B. Disraeli Sybil II. iv. v. 192   A disciple of Progress, who went with the times, but who took particular good care to ascertain their complexion.
1874   J. A. Symonds Sketches Italy & Greece 91   So bad was this tyranny of priests and bastards that..the Perugians regretted the troublous times of the Baglioni.
1903   Fibre & Fabric 2 May 138/3   Mr. Code believes in keeping up with the times and is installing new machinery from time to time.
1921   ‘M. Corelli’ Secret Power vii. 73   Certain people who once ‘went with the time’—and decided to stop en route, and are still at the stopping-place.
1936   W. Holtby South Riding i. iv. 45   Times are changing, and we've got to change with them.
1982   Z. Edgell Beka Lamb i. 5   Miss Eila had explained to her Gran that times were too hard to hold a proper nine nights for Toycie.
2009   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 14 June (Business section) 2/6   In a sign of how much the times have changed, some malls even want to remove their once-vaunted roofs.

1484—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. In plural. Used in the titles of newspapers and other periodicals.The Times of London was originally published (from 1785) under the title of The Daily Universal Register: see Times adj.

[1774   (title)    The St. James's magazine: or, memoirs of our own times.]
1788   (title of newspaper)    The times.
1789   (title of newspaper)    The times, and Patowmack packet.
1801   G. Rose Diaries (1860) I. 439   I found here the Times of Saturday.
1828   (title of newspaper)    The Manchester times.
1842   (title)    Mainzer's musical times and singing circular.
1863   Harper's Mag. Feb. 361/2   A first-class daily paper, like the Times of London, or the Herald, Tribune, or Times of New York.
1905   Bull. Pharmacy Dec. 520/1   The following newspaper clipping, taken from the Brockville Times of the Province of Ontario, shows how an attractive window display may be made.
1966   H. Davies New London Spy (1967) 191   The Peer whose demise was only noticed because The Times covering his face was yesterday's edition.
2009   Vanity Fair (N.Y.) Nov. 130/2   At The Times of India, she had won awards for her reporting from Kashmir.

1788—2009(Hide quotations)


 a. A period considered with reference to one's personal experience, characterized as being enjoyable, unpleasant, etc.; an experience of a specified kind; esp. in to have a good (bad, etc.) time (of it, formerly †on it) .to have a —— time seems to have fallen out of use in British English during the 18th cent., but was reintroduced from America in the late 19th cent. See also big time n.a good time was had by all: see Phrases 4g(b).

1509   H. Watson tr. S. Brant Shyppe of Fooles (de Worde) xlix. sig. Miii   Pecunyous fooles that by auaryce, and for to haue good tyme [Fr. pour auoir bon temps], and lyue Joyously weddeth these olde wyddred women.
1630   J. Shirley Gratefull Seruant ii. 29   Kill your selfe, more good will come on't, how now? nay then w'are like to haue a precious time on't.
1647   J. Trapp Comm. Epist. & Rev. 199   Those poor..souls..have an ill time of it.
1673   S'too him Bayes 26   It seems his servants had a good time on't.
1709   D. Manley Secret Mem. 115   Berintha..thought she should have a melancholy time of it.
1761   L. Sterne Life Tristram Shandy III. ix   'Tis God's mercy..that Mrs. Shandy has had so bad a time of it;—else she might have been brought to bed seven times told.
1770   G. Colman Man & Wife ii. 37   You eldest daughters have a fine time of it to take place of your younger sisters in every thing.
1814   P. Dow Vicissitudes Exemplified 7   The day arrived, he came, and the house was crowded;—and we had a good time!
1856   F. L. Olmsted Journey Slave States 82   I was having a very good time with her, when her father came in.
1866   G. W. Thornbury Greatheart III. viii. 108   ‘Had a ripping time at Oxford,’ he said..; ‘nothing but sprees.’
1885   Punch 3 Oct. 158/1   Then I arrive here and a high old time I am having of it I can tell you.
1905   H. A. Vachell Hill viii. 181   You have deliberately taken things easy, because you wanted a soft time of it during the summer term.
1950   Sun (Baltimore) 31 Oct. 12/1   Let the kids go out tonight and have a grand time with their masquerading and trick-or-treating.
1984   J. D. Harvey Laughter-silvered Wings 249   The Padre remarked to the Flight Sergeant that he must have had a stressful time.
2008   S. Toltz Fraction of Whole i. 97   He'd had a bad time inside: stabbed seven times with a shiv, face sliced open, blinded in one eye.

1509—2008(Hide quotations)


 b. colloquial. Without qualification: an experience notable in some way (good or bad); esp. an ordeal or struggle.

1809   Antijacobin Rev. & Mag. Dec. 387   What a time of it must the poor clergymen of Hertford have with this dissenting Pope, and his roaring bulls in the midst of them!
1852   Working Man's Friend 1 Nov. 85/2   Black Simon and I have had a time of it, I tell you... Whew! my fingers ache like the toothache!
1860   H. J. Hawley in Wisconsin Mag. Hist. (1936) Mar. 323   I had a time biding them good by.
1887   H. P. Deeker Let. 24 July in 35th Ann. Rep. Children's Aid Soc. (N.Y.) 79   I have had some times since I left your place; it does not seem possible that I ever lived there.
1925   L. O'Flaherty Informer (1989) 181   Good Lord, Gypo,..you were having a time of it.
1956   ‘B. Holiday’ & W. Dufty Lady sings Blues ii. 27   So I..decided I'd get off the train in New York, take the subway to Harlem, have myself a time.
1976   ‘W. Trevor’ Children of Dynmouth i. 13   He hoped..that Lavinia wasn't having a time with the twins, cooped inside on a damp afternoon.
2010   J. C. Bernis Wolf Tree viii. 114   I've had a time, I'll tell you. Tried to purchase you tickets, but all passenger trains westbound are halted.

1809—2010(Hide quotations)


 c. North American regional (chiefly New England and Newfoundland). A social function, a party, esp. one organized communally.

1878   in Dict. Newfoundland Eng. (1982) 568/2   But..while on a visit to Bett's Cove [he] got on a time and ‘let the cat out of the bag’.
1883   A. Pinkerton Spy of Rebellion xxi. 328   While there I met some of the boys, and we had a little ‘time’.
1923   E. C. Parsons Folk-lore Sea Islands 208   On going to live in a new house, people may have a ‘time’—as they always say for a party—‘christenin' de house’.
1950   H. Creighton Folklore Lunenburg County 109   Are you going to the time tonight?
1967   Boston Sunday Herald 7 May vi. 8/8   The state stages such exciting and colorful events as the annual Clam, Broiler, Potato,..and Blueberry Festivals.., not to mention..scores of other ‘times’.
1999   M. E. O'Dell in L. D. Fitzhugh Labradorians ii. 72   I'll never forget once when I went to a time to Pinware with poor old Jack Lowe.

1878—1999(Hide quotations)

 8. A prescribed or allotted period.

 a. A term of indentured or compulsory service; an apprenticeship, period of conscripted military service, etc. Formerly also: the unexpired portion of such a period of service, as something that may be bought or paid off (now historical).

1582   A. Munday Breefe Aunswer sig. Diij   Then he beginneth to rip vp the course of my life, Howe I was an Apprentise, and serued my tyme well with deceyuing my Maister.
1645   J. Howell Epistolæ Ho-elianæ v. xv. 20   To be both of one trade, because when they are out of their time, they may joyne stocks together.
1698   E. Ward London Spy I. ii. 14   The next [rake]..had got his Means in his own Hands, bought his Time of his Master, and fear'd no Colours.
1718   Free-thinker No. 21. 1   The..Indiscretion of Apprentices marrying Servant-Wenches before their Time is expired.
1769   Boston Gaz. (U.S.) 20 Nov. in R. H. Thornton Amer. Gloss. (1912)    To be sold for five Years, The Time of a hearty young Man, who is a good Sailor.
1813   D. Benedict Gen. Hist. Baptist Denomination Amer. II. xiii. 193   He..was originally a slave, but is now free, having worked his time out.
1838   J. Sturge & T. Harvey West Indies in 1837 App. p. xlvii   An apprentice says, his wife is sickly and unable to work. He beg massa to sell her time.
1850   Househ. Words 19 Oct. 73/1   I..have worked in a shop at Birmingham..almost ever since I was out of my time.
1862   A. F. Walker Let. 8 Oct. in Quite Ready to be Sent Somewhere (2002) ii. 34   He was not a slave, but illegally bound out, and his master wanted to sell his time.
1922   E. W. Weaver Building Career xiv. 217   Horace E. Dodge, the millionaire automobile manufacturer, served his full time as a machinist's apprentice.
1998   B. W. Sarudy Gardens & Gardening in Chesapeake v. 88   In 1752 the Jenningses attempted to sell the time of the indentured gardener.
2005   Sydney Morning Herald (Nexis) 23 Mar. (CBD section) 23   His apprenticeship was interrupted when he volunteered for service in World War I and he completed his time after returning from the war.

1582—2005(Hide quotations)


 b. A term of imprisonment.to do (one's) time: see Phrases 4d(a).

1790   in Hist. Rec. Austral. (1914) 1st Ser. I. 154   The answer you gave to the convict who came to tell you his time was expired—‘Would to God my time was expired, too!’
1814   J. Lambert Trav. Canada & U.S. (ed. 2) II. xxviii. 68   I have been told of a man who became a shoe-maker in that prison, and at the end of his time came out with several hundred dollars in pocket.
1838   C. Dickens Oliver Twist I. xviii. 306   His ‘time’ was only out an hour before.
1907   J. S. Balfour My Prison Life xix. 323   When he has completed his ‘time’—generally a short three years or five years' term—he returns to freedom.
1986   M. De Lacy Prison Reform Lancs. 10   The convicted burglar or rapist who is serving out his time jammed into a Victorian cell with three other men.
2007   C. Thomas Brother One Cell Author's Note   I served my time in the Seoul Detention Center and prisons in the cities of Uijongbu and Taejon.

1790—2007(Hide quotations)

 ** Considered as a quantity.

 a. The amount of time (sense A. 10) which is sufficient, necessary, or desired for a particular task or purpose, or which is at a person's disposal; the amount of time available. Frequently with infinitive indicating the task or purpose; also with for.

OE   tr. Chrodegang of Metz Regula Canonicorum (Corpus Cambr. 191) xlviii. 265   Him is to warnienne þonne hig..þone godcundan sang hebbað, þæt hig be þæra preosta menege & be þære þenunge mæðe & be þæs timan lenge heora sang dragon [L. secundum..temporis prolixitatem cantum protendant], þæt heora ealra stefen geþwærie.
?c1200   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 2711   Niss nan time inn oþer lif Affterr þiss lifess ende To takenn wiþþ þe wake leod.
a1300  (a1250)    Physiologus (1991) 164   Ðus ȝe tileð ðarwiles ȝe time haueð.
c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Royal) (1850) Apoc. ii. 21   I ȝaf to hir tyme [L. tempus], that she shulde do penaunce.
c1400   in Bull. John Rylands Libr. (1985) 68 154 (MED)   Chese þe good part while þou hast tyme.
1488  (c1478)    Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) (1968–9) viii. l. 502   No teyme we haiff off segyn now to bid.
1585   T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie i. xv. 16 b   There was yet time inough to pleasure them.
1631   J. Mabbe tr. F. de Rojas Spanish Bawd xii. 142   I will not give her time to invent some one villainous tricke or other.
a1678   A. Marvell To Coy Mistress in Misc. Poems (1681) 19   Had we but World enough, and Time, This coyness Lady were no crime.
1705   J. Addison Remarks Italy 202   The Shell of a House, which he had not time to finish.
1723   Pres. State Russia II. 325   In case the Russian Troops should get time of rallying.
a1774   A. Tucker Light of Nature Pursued (1777) III. iii. 87   The man of business has not time for such piddling work.
1832   New-Eng. Mag. Dec. 468   He had thrown away his gun, well knowing that he would not be allowed time to reload it.
1840   T. B. Macaulay Ranke's Hist. in Ess. (1854) II. 552/2   [He] found, even in the midst of his most pressing avocations, time for private prayer.
1865   J. Ruskin Sesame & Lilies ii. 138   I could multiply witness upon witness..if I had time.
1932   G. Greene Stamboul Train i. i. 12   ‘There's no time,’ she said, ‘only one minute before we go.’
1953   C. Bishop Larry of Little League ii. 25   I'm willing to give my time to the building of a Little League.
1970   A. K. Armah Fragments ii. 31   Juana just had the time to see a small india-rubber ball bounce swiftly across the road.
2008   New Yorker 25 Aug. 67/3   Richard was an econ major and didn't have much time for outside reading.

OE—2008(Hide quotations)


 b. spec. Time available for a particular activity, which may be allocated or reserved for payment; esp. time during which a particular broadcasting channel, mobile telephone line, or other communications medium is available for use by the individual or organization who has bought or reserved it; = airtime n.

1924   Pop. Sci. Monthly July 23/1   A few of the larger stations sell time in the air, charging about $10 a minute.
1930   Daily Express 6 Sept. 4/6   To the big advertiser the broadcasting stations came with an offer to ‘sell time’ to pay the cost of broadcasting programmes.
1939   Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) 4 Feb. 4/8   All the people who drive along looking for an empty parking space where there is still time on the meter.
1970   Daily Tel. 18 Sept. (Colour Suppl.) 30   The world's 1300 or so professional astronomers who obtain ‘time’ on the big telescopes all have different programmes in different parts of the sky.
1977   Zigzag June 10/3   A friend of mine who was an engineer rang up to see if I had any songs I wanted to cut, because he could get me some time.
2003   Atlanta Jan. 43/1   Walking out the door with..two Kyocera cell phones in my shopping bags, the proud owner of 400 minutes of time each month.

1924—2003(Hide quotations)


 10. The fundamental quantity of which periods or intervals of existence are conceived as consisting, and which is used to quantify their duration.

1340   Ayenbite (1866) 214 (MED)   He lyest þe guodes þet he ssolde do ine zuo moche time ase he lyest ine þe playes and ine ydelnesse.
c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) 1 Cor. xvi. 7   I wole not now se ȝou in passynge, forsothe I hope sum what of tyme [L. aliquantulum temporis] for to dwelle at ȝou.
1489   W. Caxton De Roye's Doctrinal of Sapyence lxxxviii. sig. Lvi   [He] hath lost and wasted so moche tyme wythout good cause.
1533   T. Elyot Pasquil the Playne sig. A5   Thou..trauailest in study of minde..and therin losist moche tyme, that mought be better employed.
c1572   W. Forrest Theophilus 263 in Anglia (1884) 7 87   By so longe tyme as his busshoppe dyd lyue.
1616   J. Smith Descr. New Eng. 1   We saw many [whales], and spent much time in chasing them; but could not kill any.
1662   B. Gerbier Brief Disc. Princ. Building 28   No New Building could stand any time without Proppings.
1711   J. Addison Spectator No. 37. ¶1   It was some time before the Lady came to me.
1751   T. Gray Let. 10 Oct. in Corr. (1971) I. 353   His College, which had much declined for some time, is picking up again.
1794   J. Sinclair Statist. Acct. Scotl. XI. 268   Cutting, winning, and carrying home their peats..consumes a great deal of time.
1849   T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. iii. 291   The time occupied..was not to exceed fourteen days in one year.
1899   Chambers's Jrnl. 25 Mar. 269/2   For some time there have been rumours of an electric lamp on an entirely new principle.
1931   B. Johnston Let. 7 June in Lett. Home 1926–45 (1998) 71   I'm afraid the cricket took up a lot of time.
1957   A. C. Clarke Deep Range i. 4   Estimated time to target area 40 minutes.
1982   S. Brett Murder Unprompted (1984) xv. 152   Given shelter, someone might pass undetected in this landscape for some time.
2009   New Yorker 5 Oct. 76/1   Both [announcements] would take up an inordinate amount of time and space in the news.

1340—2009(Hide quotations)


 11. The amount of time taken up by something; duration. Frequently with of.

1562   T. Sternhold et al. Whole Bk. Psalmes To Rdr. Sig. ✠.vi   One Semibrefe [is worth] two Minimes: and hathe twise the time in pronouncing in singing that the Minime hath.
1626   F. Bacon Sylua Syluarum §402   The Time of the Steeping was twelue houres.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. (at cited entry)   Where the Time, or Duration of the Notes is equal, the Differences of Tune alone are capable to entertain us with endless Pleasure.
1756   J. Black in Ess. & Observ. (Philos. Soc. Edinb.) II. 430   The time of the whole agitation was about three minutes.
1802   J. Britton & E. W. Brayley Beauties Eng. & Wales III. 59   The whole time of the continuance of their appearance was upwards of two hours.
1855   A. Manning Adventures Caliph Haroun Alraschid vii. 182   The Time of my Absence was fifteen Days.
1908   O. Wright Let. 15 May in F. C. Kelly Miracle at Kitty Hawk (1951) viii. 263   The time of the flight was seven minutes and a half.
1944   Times 15 June 6/3   To prolong the first note of each phrase in ‘Caro Nome’ far beyond its proper time is..to destroy the rhythm of the music.
2001   D. Zimmer & B. Madden Zim ii. 29   The time of the game was three hours and four minutes.

1562—2001(Hide quotations)


 a. The amount of time spent doing work of a particular kind or engaged in a particular occupation, esp. considered as a basis for payment or other recompense.

1696   N. Barbon Disc. coining New Money 41   Every man that works, is paid for his time.
1748   J. Shaw Parish Law (ed. 6) liii. 259   He expected a Man-Servant in three Weeks; but if he, Edmonds, would supply the Place in the Interim, he..would pay him for his Time.
1767   Ld. Holland 25 June in London Mag. July (1769) 389/2   Though I have been two years out of employment, the payments for my time are not yet completed.
1832   Athenaeum 8 Sept. 577/2   Five dollars would just pay my time 'twixt the road and Silas Bums' clearing and back again.
1840   Family Mag. 5 532/2   The raw materials of the manufacturer are, by his industry, converted into fabrics..the sale of which will..liberally reward him for his time and labor.
1918   T. S. Eliot Let. 20 Nov. (1988) I. 257   There seemed to be no prospect of the Navy's reimbursing me for the time I was losing.
1991   E Mag. Jan. 61/1   Since the average tusk weighs six pounds, it is immediately obvious that the hunter enjoys little real gain for his time and effort.
2000   R. Bingham Lightning on Sun 32   He was paying him three dollars an hour for his time.

1696—2000(Hide quotations)


 b. Used in expressions indicating the multiple of the usual rate of pay that is to be paid in particular circumstances (most commonly for overtime), as time and a half, time and a quarter, etc.double time: see double time n. at double adj.1 and adv. Additions.

1847   in 1st Rep. Sel. Comm. Navigation Laws 86   They only work for a certain number of hours, and extra time is paid for what they call ‘time and a half’.
1851   Morning Chron. 31 Dec. 2/4   An agreement was..come to with the employers..to the effect that when overtime was required it should be paid for at the rate of ‘time and a quarter for the first two hours’, and at ‘time and a half till six o'clock in the morning’.
1931   Economist 14 Mar. 552/2   Extra pay for night duty is to be reduced from ‘time and a quarter’ to ‘time and an eighth’, and for duty on Sunday, Christmas Day and Good Friday from ‘time and a half’ to ‘time and a third’.
1976   Daily Tel. 12 Nov. 2/1   They want holiday pay, at present single time, increased to time and a third.
1978   M. Kenyon Deep Pocket ii. 28   Tell the men I'm paying time and a half for every forty yards dug by the weekend.
2009   Brockville (Ontario) Recorder & Times (Nexis) 4 July a4   In those jobs, employees still receive..time-and-a-half for working statutory holidays.

1847—2009(Hide quotations)


 c. Payment in proportion to the period worked; esp. payment which brings an employee's account up to date. Also: certification (in the form of a written account, card, ticket, etc.) of the amount of time worked, and the payment due, esp. as issued upon termination of employment. Now rare.

1877   M. M. Kirkman Railway Disbursem. 135   In all cases where an employe has left the service of the company during the month, and has had a time ticket given to him, his name should appear on the roll in its proper place, and the words ‘time given’ written opposite to it.
1887   Courier-Jrnl. (Louisville, Kentucky) 12 Jan. 6/3   All that remained for the brakemen and switchmen to do was to go to the office..and call for what is known in railroad parlance as their ‘time’.
1902   O. Wister Virginian xvii. 205   Pay was due him—‘time’, as it was called in cow-land.
1926   J. Black You can't Win xx. 317   He threw down his shovel, walked over to the boss, and demanded his ‘time’. I heard the foreman say: ‘All right, you're no good anyway. I was going to fire you to-night.’
1935   A. J. Cronin Stars look Down iii. xiv. 608   It broke his heart to give these fifty their time, to send them to join the six hundred men from the Neptune already on the dole.

1877—1935(Hide quotations)


 13. A measurement of the length of time taken to run a race, or to complete a journey or other event, esp. one in which speed is aimed at.

1837   Amer. Turf Reg. Nov. 560   A very close and well contested race, won by one foot only, and fastest time ever made over this course.
1864   London Soc. Apr. 374/1   They lost the race in a time that would in almost any previous year have served for winning it.
1877   Spirit of Times 24 Nov. 438/2   The wind was so unsteady, and our speed, consequently so variable, that the fastest time made between any two points was seven miles in 28m.
1908   Daily Chron. 15 Jan. 7/5   The times..did not compare with those established by the amateurs the day before. Still some wonderful times were put up.
1956   Manch. Guardian 8 Oct. 12/5   Mr A. Newsham achieved the fastest time of the day at the Liverpool Motor Club's auto-cross meeting at Helsby yesterday.
2006   R. Genat Hemi Muscle i. 24   From a standing start, the big DeSoto could reach 60 miles per hour in 9.8 seconds, an excellent time considering the weight of the car.

1837—2006(Hide quotations)

 II. A point of time; a moment in time; a space of time considered without reference to its duration; an occasion, an instance.The ‘point’ may be an instant (as the time when a star crosses the meridian), or it may have some duration (as the time for sowing), but the focus of consideration is not on its extent or duration but rather on the question of when it occurs (i.e. where it is situated within a greater space or period of time), what happens or is done at that moment, or how it is characterized.
 14. A point in the course of time or of a period or cycle. Cf. tide n. 3a.

 a. A point or fixed part of the year, a season. In later use chiefly in time of year, or with preceding modifying word. For the more established compounds of this type, as springtime, termtime, etc., see the first element.

OE   Rule St. Benet (Corpus Cambr.) viii. 32   On wintres timan, þæt is fram þan anginne þæs monðes, þe is nouember gehaten, oþ eastran.
OE   Ælfric Old Eng. Hexateuch: Num. (Claud.) xiii. 21   Hit wæs ða se tima ðe winberian ripodon.
OE   Byrhtferð Enchiridion (Ashm.) (1995) ii. i. 80   Feower timan beoð... Ver ys lengtentima... Se oðer tima hatte æstas, þæt byð sumor... Se þridda tima ys autumnus on Lyden gecweden and on Englisc hærfest.
a1225  (?OE)    MS Lamb. in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1868) 1st Ser. 119 (MED)   Vre drihtnes halie passiun..is nu icumen in, and þe halie writ us..hat þet we beon imundie of þere pine þe ure drihten þolede for us on þisse timan.
c1325  (c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) l. 7898 (MED)   In þe gote time of leinte þis false bissop ode & þe frensse kniȝtes of engelond of þis trayson vnderstode.
a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. ix. iii. 519   Þe ȝere of þe sonne..conteyneþ foure tymes, winter, springinge tyme, somer, and heruest.
a1500  (?a1425)    tr. Secreta Secret. (Lamb.) 74   Heruest [=autumn]..lastys lxxxviij dayes... In þis tyme ys also þe day and þe nyght euyne.
a1513   R. Fabyan New Cronycles Eng. & Fraunce (1516) II. f. lxxxxv   The tyme of Wynter which Trees doth deface.
1578   W. Hunnis Hyue Full of Hunnye f. 75v   In the Ramming time of yeare when Sheepe most feeble bee.
1611   R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues at Febve   In Cuckoe-time when Beanes doe flower.
1625   Sir T. Dutton in S. R. Gardiner Fortescue Papers (1871) 212   So remote a place as Giteringberke assigned for our randevowes at this tyme of the yeare.
1718   D. Beeckman Voy. to & from Island of Borneo iii. 155   At this time of Year there is a strong Current sets to the East North Eastward.
a1722   E. Lisle Observ. Husbandry (1757) 299   The cows milk abates about wheat-blossoming time.
1777   P. Thicknesse Year's Journey France & Spain I. v. 31   The difference..is owing to nothing more than the time of the year in which it is bottled.
1825   T. Hook Sayings & Doings 2nd Ser. III. 153   Fleeting showers of rain, unseasonable at the time of year.
c1836   G. Nelson Sorel Jrnl. in L. Peers & T. Schenck First Years in Fur Trade (2002) 154   When Sugar time came, we lived near a month upon that deleterious article alone.
1910   F. M. Littler Handbk. Birds Tasmania 167   Just at this time of the year heavy gales usually blow.
1921   C. M. Panunzio Soul of Immigrant i. 23   I had an aunt who owned a large farm, and I was always invited there at grape-gathering time.
1993   Sunday Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) (Nexis) 2 May t4   May is rhododendron time west of the Cascades.
2005   A. Burdick Out of Eden (2006) xx. 264   At this time of year, a menacing low-pressure system..regularly races across the northern Pacific from Kamchatka to North America.

OE—2005(Hide quotations)


 (a) A point or period in the course of a day, or of the diurnal cycle, as determined or described according to some system of measurement, or as shown by a clock; = hour n. 4a.In early use with reference to the hour of the day (sometimes specified by a preceding ordinal numeral); later usually more precisely, in terms of the number of hours, quarters, minutes, etc., past midnight or midday. Cf. tide n. 3, tide n. 4.

OE   Byrhtferð Enchiridion (Ashm.) (1995) ii. iii. 114   Seo niht hafað seofon todælednyssa. Crepusculum ys seo forme, þæt ys æfengloma..; þridde conticinium, þæt ys switima oððe salnysse timan; feorðe intempestiuum, þæt ys midniht oððe unworclic tima.
OE   Regularis Concordia (Tiber.) in Englische Studien (1886) 9 294   Forþy..on ælcere tide on nihtlicum timan, þonne se broðer arist of his bedde to þam godcundlican weorce, ærest he onsette him sylfum þæt tacn þære halgan rode.
OE   Dialogue between Jerome & Damasus (Calig.) in Anglia (1889) 11 7   Her onginð Damasus papan smeagung wið Hieronime þone bokere hwilcan timan on sunnan dagan oþþe on oðran dagan man mæssian mote.
?c1200   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 12745   Þatt time..Wass rihht swa summ itt off þatt daȝȝ. Þe tende time wære.
c1225  (?c1200)    St. Margaret (Bodl.) (1934) 18   Wes as þah hit were þe seoueðe time of þe dei þet me droh hire þus in-to dorkest wan.
a1400   in K. W. Engeroff Untersuchung ‘Usages of Winchester’ (1914) 66   Non of hem ne sholde fecche here bred, but þere þe lepen stondeþ..to-fore þe tyme of none.
a1450   tr. Aelred of Rievaulx De Institutione Inclusarum (Bodl.) (1984) 4   Yf thou shalt speke, speke selde, as certeyn tymes and houres in the day.
a1500   Sidrak & Bokkus (Lansd.) (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Washington) (1965) l. 1689 (MED)   What day and what tyme was it Þat Adam was made, telle me ȝit.
1578   W. B. tr. Appian of Alexandria Aunc. Hist. Romanes Warres 224   In the Ile was the store for the admiral, from whence the Trumpeter must giue warning, and the crier tel the time.
1696   J. Harris City Bride i. sig. F2   Bon. Tell me the time my Friend? Fri. At Seven this Evening.
a1722   E. Lisle Observ. Husbandry (1757) 317   I asked my shepherd, what time in the morning he would drive them [sc. sheep] to the wash-mills.
1778   G. E. Howard Female Gamester iii. i, in Misc. Wks. (1782) I. 291   Lady Bel. Why, what's the time? Attend. 'Tis past the noon.
1823   J. Badcock Domest. Amusem. 162   By the light you shall catch a few words in the book, or the time on the watch.
1861   C. Dickens Great Expectations I. v. 63   Would you give me the Time?
1882   Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours Feb. 79/2   ‘Say, my friend, have you the time with you?’ ‘Yes,’ said he... ‘It is twenty minutes past nine.’
1908   R. Bagot Anthony Cuthbert viii   Find out what time the marchesa intends to breakfast.
1943   N. Balchin Small Back Room x. 121   What's the time? Four o'clock? Let's go and see if La Susan has rustled up any tea.
1963   Times 22 Apr. 6/4   Coo, is that really the time?
2007   M. Phillips Gods behaving Badly (2008) xxv. 162   He had absolutely no idea what the time was or even what the day was.

OE—2007(Hide quotations)


 (b) With preceding modifying word.For the more established compounds of this type, as night-time, bedtime, etc., see the first element.

OE   Ælfric Lives of Saints (Julius) (1881) I. 324   Þa siððan on æfentiman hi setton hine on cweartern.
OE   Benedictine Office (Junius) (1957) 97   On nontiman we sculon God herian forðam on þonne timan Crist..his gast asende.
c1300   St. Brendan (Laud) l. 549 in C. Horstmann Early S.-Eng. Legendary (1887) 235 (MED)   Here ich am euer-ech sonenday and fram saterdayȝes eue For-to euen-song tyme þane sonenday here i schal bi-leue.
c1430   N. Love Mirror Blessed Life (Brasenose e.9) (1908) 143   He..cometh downe allone in the nyȝt tyme.
?1473   W. Caxton tr. R. Le Fèvre Recuyell Hist. Troye (1894) I. lf. 135v   The sonne..gaf so grete hete that the peple durst not goo in the ayer by daye tyme.
1535   Bible (Coverdale) Ruth ii. 12   Whan it is eatinge tyme, come hither, and eate of the bred.
1599   Hist. Syr Clyomon & Clamydes sig. Fv   It will do thee good to see What canuosing is at the milking time, betweene her and mee.
1650   H. Brooke Υγιεινη 135   Avoid drinking..at sleeping time, for that also disposes to Vapors and Rheums.
a1750   W. Gibson New Treat. Dis. Horses (1751) iii. iv. 203   Let a pint of this infusion be given..about two hours before feeding time in the afternoon.
1835   R. P. Gillies Thurlston Tales I. 159   ‘What is the hour?’ ‘Not yet cockcrow, lass; but dancing-time I'll answer for it,’ said Alice Duke.
1894   Western Champion (Barcaldine, Queensland) 6 Feb. 3/3   It was nearly ‘crib-time’ before they got the four shots ready for firing.
1912   Bull. (Sydney) 10 Oct. 15/2   I have often met a party of shearers, camped for tucker-time, with their bikes all set up in a mulga garage.
1983   P. Dallas Ital. Wines (new ed.) vii. 104   In northern countries, the trend of the last decade has been towards cocktail-time wine apéritifs.
2010   Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent) (Nexis) 13 Oct. 2   The only noise was when the students were coming in, dinner time or at going home time.

OE—2010(Hide quotations)


 (c) With of followed by a specific part of the diurnal cycle, as time of the morning, time of (the) night , etc. See also time of day at Phrases 1a.

?c1225  (?a1200)    Ancrene Riwle (Cleo. C.vi) (1972) 121   Þis nicht ȝe maȝen habben uch time of þedei, þet alþe good þet ȝe eauer doð, beo idon albinichte.
c1400  (▸1391)    G. Chaucer Treat. Astrolabe (Cambr. Dd.3.53) (1872) ii. §3. 15   To knowe..euery tyme of the nyht by the sterres fixe.
1483   tr. Adam of Eynsham Reuelation xiii   The ordyr wil not that we shuld haue gone that tyme of the night in to the chaptur howse to geue discyplynys.
1523   Ld. Berners tr. J. Froissart Cronycles I. f. lxv/2   The captayne..came to the walles and sayd: who is that calleth there this tyme of nyght.
1603   P. Holland tr. Plutarch Morals 1226   When was it ever seene..that the Polemarchy or chiefe captaines sent for a prisoner at this time of the night?
1653   H. Hammond Paraphr. & Annot. New Test. 82   The time of evening when every one gets him to his Inne and provides for his supper, is already past.
1719   E. F. Haywood Love in Excess ii. 53   She..was not over willing to venture her with the Count alone, at that Time of Night.
1781   Compl. Mod. London Spy 59   We now drank our tea, which..is at that time of the evening generally very agreeable.
1840   G. Barret Theory & Pract. Water Colour Painting 104   The sky at this time of the afternoon frequently exhibits a tender spread of yellow.
1891   Wilson's Photogr. Mag. 5 Sept. 521/2   At that time of the forenoon..the use of this stop would necessitate a time exposure.
1901   G. B. Shaw Caesar & Cleopatra i. 105   What are you doing here at this time of night? Do you live here?
1993   G. F. Newman Law & Order (rev. ed.) 240   I've got to get up, Jack. No. Stop it. I mean, taking me back to bed at this time of the morning.
2007   Independent 19 Jan. (Extra section) 3/5   The phone-in day never ends: whatever you have to say, at any time of day or night, somewhere on the airwaves, there is someone waiting to take your call.

?c1225—2007(Hide quotations)


 a. A point in time marking or marked by some event or circumstance; the moment or point of time at which something happens; an occasion.(at) what time: see what 10a.

eOE   tr. Orosius Hist. (BL Add.) (1980) iv. v. 91   Ymbe ðone timan þe þiss wæs, Andra wæs haten, Agothocles broðor.
OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Royal) (1997) vii. 232   Herodes..geornlice hi befran to hwilces timan se steorra him æ[r]est æteowode.
OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Royal) (1997) xxviii. 410   Se tima cymð þæt ðine fynd þe ymbsittað mid ymbtrymminge.
OE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Tiber. B.i) anno 1009   Þa gewearð hit on þissum ylcan timan oþþe lytle ær þæt Brihtric..forwregde Wulfnoð cild to þam cyninge.
c1250   Body & Soul (Trin. Cambr. B.14.39) l. 114 in A. S. M. Clark Seint Maregrete & Body & Soul (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan) (1972) 141   Wa uurþe þe time þat tu boren was.
c1300  (?a1200)    Laȝamon Brut (Otho) (1963) 1292   Twenti ȝer he held þis lond..and suþþe him com a time þat he to wode wende.
a1325  (c1280)    Southern Passion (Pepys 2344) (1927) l. 20 (MED)   In his hous oure lord et and ysmered was also Of Marie þulke tyme þat þis dede was ydo.
a1375   William of Palerne (1867) 1300 (MED)   Sone bi here asent at þat selve time..alle þe douȝthi lordes of þe dukis were take.
c1400  (?c1390)    Sir Gawain & Green Knight (1940) l. 2243 (MED)   At þis tyme twelmonyth þou toke þat þe falled.
1451   in E. Hobhouse Church-wardens' Accts. (1890) 92   Expenses doo at Bristow yn tyme of the weyyng of the newe belle.
1516   in J. L. Glasscock Rec. St. Michael's, Bishop's Stortford (1882) 35   At the tyme of the cherch halowyng.
c1538   T. Starkey Let. in Eng. in Reign Henry VIII (1878) i. p. lxxiii   Long and much at sundry tymis.
1590   J. Smythe Certain Disc. Weapons 36   From that time forward he would hold the Bowe to be the onelie weapon of the world.
1651   T. Hobbes Leviathan iii. xxxiii. 205   For these three at several times did represent the person of God: Moses..Christ himself..and the Apostles.
1691   A. Wood Athenæ Oxonienses I. 104   In 1546 he proceeded in Divinity, having about that time subscribed to the 34 Articles.
1705   J. Logan in Mem. Hist. Soc. Pennsylvania (1872) X. 46   The expiring year will by that time show what has been done.
1766   O. Goldsmith Vicar of Wakefield I. xii. 120   By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived.
1837   J. H. Newman Parochial Serm. (ed. 3) I. vii. 99   Surely man is at all times the same being.
1845   M. Pattison in Christian Remembrancer Jan. 84   This..trick escaped detection at the time.
1901   M. C. Dickerson Moths & Butterflies iii. 257   Fruit-growers destroy the Codlin moth by spraying the trees with Paris-green water at about the time that the petals fall from the apple flowers.
1960   Woman's Illustr. 16 July 19/3   There wasn't a day gone by during which—at some time or other—she didn't think of him with a great rush of love.
2010   New Yorker 15 Feb. 84/3   Mac had been suffering from operational fatigue at the time it was sent.

eOE—2010(Hide quotations)


b. Used with various preceding prepositions to form compound conjunctions (with or without following that), as to (also into, till, etc.) time (that) : until such time as, until; after time (that) : after. Obsolete.

a1425  (c1333–52)    L. Minot Poems (1914) 10 (MED)   In þat land..Ordanis he still for to dwell, To time he think to fight.
?a1425  (c1400)    Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 38 (MED)   All weys fynden men latymeres to go with hem in the contrees & ferthere beȝonde into tyme þat men conne the langage.
1443   in J. Raine Testamenta Eboracensia (1855) II. 89 (MED)   My will ys yat George my son hafe efter tyme my dettes be paide a rent charge of xxvj s. viij d. issuand owte of my landes.
c1449   R. Pecock Repressor (1860) 246   Thei [sc. images] wolden not at alle tymes ȝeue answeris..into tyme thei weren myche preied.
1453   in F. B. Bickley Little Red Bk. Bristol (1900) II. 203   That the procuratours..shalle..entre and distreine, and such distresse as is there yfounde to kepe vnto time thei be paide of the rentis.
1488  (c1478)    Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) (1968–9) iii. l. 432   I sall do nocht till tyme I tak my leyff.
1511   Pylgrymage Richarde Guylforde (Pynson) f. xiij   A lytell Caue where they shytte hym In to tyme the Iewes had..determynyd what they wolde do with hym.
1525   T. Rychard Walton's Bk. Comfort v. sig. Rj   For thes thynges yf they fayle in ther indiuidues, yet in ther vniuersalles they a bydeth [sic] euer: after tyme that they ones be.
1577   R. Stanyhurst Treat. Descr. Irelande i. f. 3/2, in R. Holinshed Chron. I   But if I may craue your patience, to tyme you see me shoote my bolt.
1664   Floddan Field vi. 59   He should..in safe custody be kept Till time that Rougcrosse did return.

a1425—1664(Hide quotations)


 c. With of followed by a gerund or noun of action.

c1503   R. Arnold Chron. f. cviij   For the maytenyng of goddis seruice at the tyme of ressayuing of such priestis and clarkis.
1547   J. Hooper Answer Detection Deuyls Sophistrye sig. T4   Keping of it [sc. the host] in the box, and kneling downe at the time of sacring.
1628   E. Coke 1st Pt. Inst. Lawes Eng. 261 b   If a man in auoydance of a fine..alleage that hee was out of this Realme in Spaine, at the time of leuying of the fine.
1660   Exact Accompt Trial Regicides 35   What Goods, and Chattels, he had at the time of committing the said Treason, or at any time sithence.
1745   J. Wesley Answer to Rev. Church 36   No Fitness is required at the Time of communicating.
1772   W. Buchan Domest. Med. (ed. 2) xxiv. 305   About the sixth or seventh day from the time of sickening, the measles begin to turn pale on the face.
1808   C. Vancouver Gen. View Agric. Devon ix. 236   By the end of the sixth year from the time of sowing the pips.
1830   Voice of Humanity Nov. 74   This person, up to the time of going to press, was not expected to recover.
1885   J. Bonar Malthus i. i. 23   He wrote feelingly, as he had the malady [sc. toothache] at the time of writing.
1920   W. Popenoe Man. Trop. & Subtrop. Fruits ii. 23   In the tropics, the fruit is added to soups at the time of serving.
1994   Which? May 11/1   Your payment must be made in full at the time of booking.
2007   Stamp & Coin Mart Jan. 58/2   At the time of writing, the postal charges for this service have not been revealed.

c1503—2007(Hide quotations)


 d. colloquial. Used adverbially in plural:  (a) on many occasions, frequently; = many times at Phrases 5a(a)   (earliest in reduplicated form times and times);  (b) (chiefly U.S. regional (southern)) sometimes, occasionally, at times.

1817   Revealer of Secrets II. vi. 83   She did sigh—times and times she did sigh.
1859   G. Meredith Last Words Juggling Jerry in Once a Week 3 Sept. 189/2   We've travelled times to this old common.
1890   A. Gissing Village Hampden I. iv   He've told me times that in his young days..the instruments of the Shipcombe choir were all played by they of his own family.
1908   Catholic World Apr. 94   I've been out times and times and screeched at 'em; but it's no good.
1933   M. K. Rawlings South Moon Under 131   Times, it [sc. the wind] blows from the river, times, from the scrub.
1938   M. K. Rawlings Yearling xvii. 213   Seems to me, times, hit ain't done nothin' to you but sharpen your tongue.
1982   S. Johnson Of Wilful Intent i. 13   ‘And you say this has all been reported before?’ the sergeant asked him. ‘Times,’ came the despondent reply.
2005   D. Wilson Unreasonable Woman xxxii. 375   His bare feet are ever' which way over the wheel and the catch-all, and times I wonder who is steering the boat.

1817—2005(Hide quotations)


 (a) The appointed, due, or proper time for something to be done or to happen. Frequently with clause (with or without that), infinitive, or for.

eOE   King Ælfred tr. Gregory Pastoral Care (Hatton) (1871) lxiii. 459   Nu us is tima ðæt we onwæcnen of slæpe.
OE   Ælfric Homily: De Duodecim Abusivis (Corpus Cambr. 178) in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1868) 1st Ser. 296   Gifernyss..deð þæt man ytt ær timan & drincð.
OE   Lambeth Psalter ci.14   Tu exsurgens misereberis Sion, quia tempus miserendi eius, quia uenit tempus : þu arisende gemiltsast forðon þe is tima to gemiltsianne hire forþon þe com tima.
OE   Ælfric's Colloquy (1991) 45   Quando uultis cantare uesperum [read uesperam] aut completorium? Quando tempus erit : hwænne wylle ge syngan æfen oþþe nihtsangc? þonne hyt tima byþ.
?c1200   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 7571   Forrþrihht se time comm þærto Þatt ure laffdiȝ Marȝe..Þe minnstre shollde sekenn.
c1250   Body & Soul (Trin. Cambr. B.14.39) l. 18 in A. S. M. Clark Seint Maregrete & Body & Soul (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan) (1972) 117   Nu is þe time icomen me to; mi det is me bitid.
a1400  (a1325)    Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 11814 (MED)   Nu neghes tim to tak his lai.
1570   T. Norton & T. Sackville Tragidie Ferrex & Porrex iii. sig. E.ij   Now is the time for present good aduise.
1612   W. Strachey Lawes in P. Force Tracts (1844) III. 39   It shall bee his duty the time beeing come, when the general morning worke is to be left off.
1705   Boston News-let. 3 Sept. 2/1   John Harriman..told his people, that his time of departure drew near.
1771   Encycl. Brit. I. 619/2   To furnish a merchant with a ready way of knowing the time when bills or other debts become payable to or by him.
1805   J. Boys Gen. View Agric. Kent (ed. 2) 183   When two yokes are made in a day,..the time of going to work is at six o'clock in the morning.
1885   Pall Mall Gaz. 26 May 5/1   The time to burn rubbish is after the stubbles have been broken up.
1952   J. L. Waten Alien Son 69   Sunday afternoon was our time for entertaining.
1958   J. Wain Contenders iv. 66   The time had come for him to take control of the situation.
2000   V. E. Kousky & G. D. Bell in S. A. Changnon El Niño ii. 31   The appearance of El Niño signified the..arrival of the time for Peruvian fishermen to repair their nets and maintain their boats.

eOE—2000(Hide quotations)


 (b) After it is, it was, etc. (Usually without determiner.)In later use, when a subordinate clause indicating the anticipated event or action is given, this usually uses a past tense regardless of the tense of the main verb, typically with the implication that the event or action ought already to have taken place or begun.

OE   Ælfric Gram. (St. John's Oxf.) 135   Tempus est arandi, hit ys tima to erigenne.
OE   Homily (Corpus Cambr. 162) in H. L. C. Tristram Vier Altenglische Predigten aus der Heterodoxen Trad. (Ph.D. diss., Freiburg) (1970) 170   Hit is tima þæt ic gehwyrfe up to þam þe me hider niðer asende.
c1300   Havelok (Laud) (1868) 1714 (MED)   Hwan it was comen time to ete, Hise wif dede ubbe sone in fete.
a1375   William of Palerne (1867) l. 1924 (MED)   Leue we now þis lesson..to hem aȝeyn can i turne whan it time falles.
a1450  (c1412)    T. Hoccleve De Regimine Principum (Harl. 4866) (1897) l. 1274 (MED)   Sires, it is tyme þat we hennes hye.
1462   M. Paston in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 275   It is tyme to crone yowr old officere for diuerse thynges.
1523   in State Papers Henry VIII (1836) IV. 85   And now the iron is hote, it is tyme to stryke.
1597   W. Burton tr. Achilles Tatius Most Delectable & Pleasaunt Hist. Clitiphon & Leucippe 26   When supper was ended and the table taken away, Satyrus came to me, saying: Now is it time that you shew your selfe a man or neuer.
1696   R. Howlett School Recreat. (new ed.) 59   Revalley, is to let them know when it is time to rise in the Morning, and attend on their Duty.
a1771   T. Gray Agrippina in Poems (1775) 134   'Tis time we go, the sun is high advanc'd.
1821   Examiner 121/1   It is time I should draw to a conclusion.
1859   D. Crockett Life Col. D. C. x. 116   I thought it was time for us all to wet our whistles a little; and so I put off to the liquor stand.
1897   B. Stoker Dracula xi. 147   My dear mother gone! It is time that I go too.
1912   R. A. Wason Friar Tuck x. 96   Tank sez: ‘It's time we fixed up an' moved out into the dark.’
1962   J. F. Straker Coil of Rope vii. 71   You're still wet behind the ears, darling. It's time you grew up.
2010   Daily Tel. 4 May 19/5   It is time to allow the people to choose a Speaker in a direct election.

OE—2010(Hide quotations)


 b. With possessive. The time of an event which has been much anticipated or which has particular significance for the person or thing in question, esp. death or childbirth.before his time, etc.: see Phrases 3e(a).

OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Royal) (1997) i. 187   Þa ða hyre tima [a1225 Vesp. A.xxii hire time] com, heo acende & þurhwunode mæden.
OE   West Saxon Gospels: John (Corpus Cambr.) v. 4   Drihtenes engel com to his timan [c1200 Hatton to hys tyme; L. secundum tempus] on þone mere & þæt wæter wæs astyred.
OE   Confessional Prayer (Corpus Cambr. 391) in A. Hughes Portiforium St Wulfstan (1960) II. 14   Ac, loc hwænne min tima beo & þin willa sy, þæt ic þis hlæne lif forlætan scyle, læt me mid gedefenesse mine dagas geendian.
?c1200   Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 1802   Ȝho wollde abidenn þær Elysabæþess time.
a1325  (c1280)    Southern Passion (Pepys 2344) (1927) l. 868   Byffore þe ffeste of Ester day Ihesus wuste ȝare Þat his tyme was ney ycome.
c1330   Sir Degare (Auch.) 179 in W. H. French & C. B. Hale Middle Eng. Metrical Romances (1930) 293   Her time come, ȝhe was vnbounde And deliured al mid sounde.
a1425  (c1395)    Bible (Wycliffite, L.V.) (Royal) (1850) Prov. xxv. 11   A goldun pomel in beddis of siluer is he, that spekith a word in his [= its] time [L. in tempore suo].
c1450   Alphabet of Tales (1904) I. 11 (MED)   Sho wex grete & drew nere hur tyme.
1560   J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccccljv   Ye Quene..was with childe, and nere her time.
1597   Bp. J. Hall Virgidemiarum: 1st 3 Bks. ii. iv. 37   If nor a dramme of Triacle souereigne,..Nor Kitchin-cordials can it remedie, Certes his time is come.
1658   A. Conway Let. 9 Apr. (1992) iii. 147   His wife now..is so near her time.
1739   E. Purefoy Let. 4 Mar. (1931) I. iv. 78   Wee have another big bellyed maid in the house within 2 months of her Time, as the midwife sais.
1841   W. M. Thackeray Great Hoggarty Diamond xii, in Misc. (1857) IV. 428   My poor wife, then very near her time, insisted upon accompanying me.
1853   C. Brontë Villette II. xvii. 19   ‘Ten minutes behind his time,’ said she.
1867   J. Mackenzie Hist. Scotl. xliii. 308   The besieged saw that their time was come. It was vain to think of defending any longer ramparts gaping with a breach so vast.
1931   H. S. Walpole Judith Paris iii. 582   Judith was very near her time, and, in consideration..that this was her first child, it had been wiser of her perhaps not to have come.
1980   R. Butler Blood-red Sun at Noon (1981) i. i. 19   She..became pregnant... What she called ‘her time’ approached.
2008   B. Byford Remember to love Me 164   I think it's nearly my time. You are back here where you belong and my job here is done.

OE—2008(Hide quotations)


 17. A favourable, opportune, convenient, or suitable point of time for doing something; the right moment or occasion. (Often with his, her, etc.)

eOE   King Ælfred tr. Gregory Pastoral Care (Tiber.) (Junius transcript) (1871) xxxiii. 220   Se wisa hilt his spræce & bitt timan.
OE   Tables of Lucky & Unlucky Days (Corpus Cambr. 422) in L. S. Chardonnens Anglo-Saxon Prognostics (2007) 441   Luna vi Non est bona, nis hit her god tima.
a1225  (?a1200)    MS Trin. Cambr. in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1873) 2nd Ser. 29 (MED)   Vnwreste þu best gef þu wreche ne secst hwanne þu time siest, gief mihte þe þe atiereð.
c1275  (?a1200)    Laȝamon Brut (Calig.) (1963) l. 7466   Þa heo isæh hire time heo fulde hir scale of wine..&..eode to þan kinge.
c1300  (?c1225)    King Horn (Cambr.) (1901) 533 (MED)   Kniȝt, nu is þi time For to sitte bi me.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Eccles. iii. 4   Time of weping, and time of laȝhing [a1425 L.V. tyme to wepe, and tyme to leiȝe; L. tempus flendi, et tempus ridendi].
c1405  (c1390)    G. Chaucer Melibeus (Hengwrt) (2003) §14   Whan she say hir tyme, she seyde hym in this wise Allas my lord.
c1450  (a1400)    R. Lavynham Treat. Seven Deadly Sins (Harl. 211) (1956) 10 (MED)   He wil a waytyn his tyme to be a vengyd on hym þt hym hath greuyd.
a1522   G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid (1960) xi. xv. l. 39   Thys forsaid Aruns..Chosys hys tyme that was mast oportune.
1544   P. Betham tr. J. di Porcia Preceptes Warre ii. sig. L.vv   The fyer..sodaynlye wyll ouerburne all the pauilions. And than also thowe mayste haue a good tyme, to sette vppon them.
c1610   T. Bodley in Reliq. (1703) 108   A Clock and a Bell will be needful for the Library..: but every thing must have his time.
1671   R. Head & F. Kirkman Eng. Rogue IV. xviii. sig. R*5v   When late at night and the company grows thin and your eyes dim with watching then is the time for false Dice to be put on the ignorant.
1709   R. Steele Tatler No. 36. ⁋4   When Stocks are lowest, it is the Time to buy.
1781   R. B. Sheridan Critic ii. ii. 68   Is this a time for maudling tenderness, And Cupid's baby woes?
a1827   W. Hickey Mem. (1960) xix. 309   Now's your time, Hickey. That beast Mordaunt was called away..so that you will have a couple of days' enjoyment together.
1877   T. De W. Talmage Serm. 378   In Grace, as in farming, there is a time for threshing.
1926   S. T. Warner Lolly Willowes iii. 153   The storm delayed. It hid behind the hills, biding its time.
1948   G. Greene Heart of Matter iii. i. 294   ‘There's no time like the present for a prang,’ Bagster said, moving her firmly towards the bed.
2002   BusinessWeek 16 Dec. 144/3   This is not a time for people to try and hit home runs in the bond market.

eOE—2002(Hide quotations)


 a. Any one of the occasions on which something is done or happens; each occasion or instance of a repeated or recurring action or circumstance. Often qualified by a numeral. Cf. sithe n.1 5a, 5a(b).Recorded earliest in many time at Phrases 5a(a). many's the time: see many adj. 1c.In adverbial use one time is now usually replaced by once when used without further qualification, except in some nonstandard varieties of English (see also one time adv.); similarly two times is often replaced by twice and three times (now less usually) by thrice.

c1275   Kentish Serm. in J. Hall Select. Early Middle Eng. (1920) I. 218   Ure lord god almichti..habbeþ [MS hadeþ] manitime maked of watere wyn gostliche.
c1300   All Souls (Laud) l. 134 in C. Horstmann Early S.-Eng. Legendary (1887) 424   For þat ys..wolde aswagi þe hote goute... Þat ys huy leiden oft to is fot, and eche time it made him liþe and softe.
c1330  (?a1300)    Arthour & Merlin (Auch.) (1973) l. 1342 (MED)   Þo louȝ Merlin þe þridde time.
c1350   Apocalypse St. John: A Version (Harl. 874) (1961) 71 (MED)   I seiȝ many þousandes kniȝttes on hors & herd her noumbre twenty þousande tymes & ten þousande.
a1425  (?c1384)    J. Wyclif Sel. Eng. Wks. (1871) III. 350   How þat men shulde snybbe þer breþeren bi þre tymes.
1453–4   Rolls of Parl.: Henry VI (Electronic ed.) Parl. Mar. 1453 §31. m. 19   At too tymes hath be made requestes to the seid lieutenaunt.
1526   W. Bonde Rosary sig. Biii   Howe he wolde deny the thre tymes that nyght.
c1540  (?a1400)    Destr. Troy 8272   The next tym þou noyes me, þou neghis to þe fer.
1573   G. Gascoigne tr. Ariosto Supposes v. v, in Hundreth Sundrie Flowres 63   This is my sonne..whom I lost eighteen yeares since, and a thousand thousand times haue I lamented for him.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor (1623) iv. ii. 87   To meete him at the doore with it, as they did last time .  
1694   Articles of Agreement in Mariner's Mirror (1940) 26 362   The other rooms..to be well wainscotted in deal three times painted.
1702   Clarendon's Hist. Rebellion I. iii. 179   The Bill was..immediately read the first and the second time, and so Committed.
1797   J. Downing Treat. Disorders Horned Cattle 57   Give the beast a quart of pellitory tea two or three times a day.
1829   W. S. Landor Imaginary Conversat. 2nd Ser. I. vi. 123   He did it fifty times, at the very least.
1899   H. D. Madge Leaves from Golden Legend 80   The third time he was called, and came thither, and found a child beside the rivage of the river.
1920   E. Wharton Age of Innocence i. xvi. 141   It was the only time that he had kissed her on the lips except for their fugitive embrace in the Beaufort conservatory.
1969   R. L. Keiser Vice Lords v. 54   One of the group..strikes the bottom of the bottle two times with the palm of his hand.
2010   Vanity Fair (N.Y.) July 100/2   This is only the second time in Cohen's 30-year career that an interview with him has been published.

c1275—2010(Hide quotations)


 b. A turn; a go. Only in a time: (preceded by a price, fee, etc.) on each occasion; (colloquial) per item, each.

1597   H. Arthington Prouision for Poore sig. B4v   The forfaiture of 12. pence for euerie housholders absence from Church. [Side note] Twelue pence a time for absence from diuine seruice.
1662   H. Marten Familiar Lett. xxviii. 25   The mother on't commonly will give her a penny a time to tend her for an hour or two in her absence.
1718   R. Grosvenor in C. T. Gatty Mary Davies (1921) II. 205   One that is grown pretty rich by his attendance upon Patients in Garrets at Half-a-Crown a time.
1756   J. Hanway Ess. Tea xiv, in Jrnl. Eight Days Journey from Portsmouth 271   The ordinary computation among the poor is a Half Penny a time for Tea, and as much for Sugar.
1838   C. Dickens Oliver Twist II. xxv. 81   He..offered to cut any gentleman..for the first picture-card, at a shilling a time.
1860   Reliquary July 21   Those who preached its doctrines were fined twenty pounds a-time for doing so.
1956   Life 12 Nov. 184/2   Men and women found themselves haled before the justices for not attending church, and fined one shilling a time.
2003   Sun (Nexis) 22 Aug.   Clubbers are being sold rat poison tablets at 50p a time.

1597—2003(Hide quotations)


 c. Scottish and English regional (northern). The action or fact of traversing a field once with a harrow or similar implement. Usually with preceding word indicating the number of traversals. Cf. Phrases 2a(b). Now rare.

[1787   Monthly Rev. Aug. 96   Two acres plowing, we are elsewhere told, and seven acres harrowing double time, is an ordinary day's work in Norfolk for a pair of horses.]
1800   Farmer's Mag. 1 47   Two horses, during the year, plow 77 acres once over, and give 105 double times of harrowing to one acre of ground.
1813   R. Kerr Agric. Surv. Berwick vii. 192   The quantity of harrowing..is denominated single time, double time, or double double times, according as the ground is gone over once, twice, or four times.
1825   J. Jamieson Etymol. Dict. Sc. Lang. Suppl.   Time, the act of once harrowing a field.
1894   R. O. Heslop Northumberland Words   Time, the journey once across a field in agriculture.

1800—1894(Hide quotations)

 19. In plural. Preceded by a number (in words or figures).

 a. Expressing comparison: followed by an adjective or adverb in the comparative degree (e.g. ten times bigger, ten times more slowly, ten times less), or by as or (now rare) so with an adverb of quantity (e.g. ten times as (or so) many (as), ten times as (or so) much (as)).

?a1400   in J. O. Halliwell Rara Mathematica (1839) 31   Lo an example as thus 9634... The figure of nyne that hath this schape 9 tokeneth ten tymes more than he schulde and he stode in the place ther the figure of 6 stondeth inne.
c1475  (▸1392)    Surg. Treat. in MS Wellcome 564 f. 50v   Aftir þe day of doom..þe erþe..schal be a þousand tymes briȝtere þan ony cristal.
1551   R. Crowley Pleasure & Payne sig. Bvv   This might you reade and ten tymes more In the bible.
1583   P. Stubbes Second Pt. Anat. Abuses sig. G3   They shall pay tenne times so much as it is worth.
a1605   J. Stow Surv. of London (1908) I. Introd. p. li   Fabyan..was a very nowghty cronycle, and Coper..was x. tymes worse.
1646   Perfect Diurnall No. 133. 1070   Our Forces were above foure times as many as the Enemy.
1712   J. Addison Spectator No. 415. ¶8   A Gothick Cathedral, tho' it be five times larger than the other.
1785   G. Berkeley Danger Violent Innovations in State (ed. 5) 89   The elective franchise is, probably enjoyed by fifty times as many persons in England at this day, as it was in the year 1429.
1807   T. Young Course Lect. Nat. Philos. I. xxiv. 297   A vessel, into which three or four times as much air as it naturally contained had been condensed.
1879   W. E. Gladstone Gleanings Past Years II. vi. 289   Men who had ten or twenty times less to remember.
1911   Tailor 23 27/2   That is six times so many bookkeepers, cutters, porters.
1991   Holiday Which? Mar. 79/1   The available space per person in Tokyo is 23 times smaller than that in London.
2007   Atlantic Monthly May 14/3   Tax cuts for CEOs earning 400 times as much as their line workers.

?a1400—2007(Hide quotations)


 b. Followed by a number or an expression of quantity: expressing the multiplication of this by the preceding number.Conventionally represented by the multiplication sign: 4 × 5 is read as ‘four times five’.

c1410  (c1390)    G. Chaucer Nun's Priest's Tale (Cambr. Dd.4.24) (1902) l. 4644   The were nede of hennes, as I wene Ȝa, moo than seuen tymes seuentene.
a1425   J. Wyclif Sel. Eng. Wks. (1871) II. 309   As foure tymes sixe maken þis noumbre.
1539   Bible (Great) Matt. xviii. 22   Lorde howe oft shall I forgeue my brother..: Tyll seuen tymes? Iesus sayeth vnto him: I saye not vnto the vntill seuen tymes: but seuenty times seuen tymes.
1598   W. Shakespeare Love's Labour's Lost v. ii. 489   Three times thrice is nine.  
1610   J. Healey tr. St. Augustine Citie of God xv. xii. 546   Ten times thirtie sixe is three hundred and sixtie, that is twelue moneths of the Moone.
1646   S. Danforth Almanack 12   4 times 6 houres doth make 24 houres, or a naturall day.
1717   M. Prior Alma iii. 539   Would she, in friendship, peace, and plenty Spin out our years to four times twenty.
1798   S. T. Coleridge Anc. Marinere iii, in W. Wordsworth & S. T. Coleridge Lyrical Ballads 20   Four times fifty living men.
1861   C. Dickens Great Expectations II. v. 78   What do you make of four times five?
1893   J. C. Thomas Man. Useful Information 326   A wonder is said to last three times three days.
1936   N.Y. Woman 23 Sept. 38/2   It's called the three-way bow tie, but we discovered two times three ways to wear it.
1963   G. Greene Coll. Stories (1972) 250   I would never try to determine some point in differential calculus with a two-times-two table.
2008   D. J. Levitin World in 6 Songs v. 170   Twelve times four is forty eight.

c1410—2008(Hide quotations)


 c. Expressing multiplication by a cardinal numeral, as in sense A. 19b, but with a noun or noun phrase following rather than a number.

1610   J. Healey tr. St. Augustine Citie of God xv. xxvi. 566   The length of mans body from head to foote, is sixe times his bredth from side to side [L. sexiens tantum habet quam latitudo].
1653   N. Culpeper Pharmacopœia Londinensis 123/1   To make it into an Electuary, by mixing it with three times its waight of clarifyed Honey.
1726   J. Swift Gulliver I. ii. iii. 46   An Animal of ten times my Strength.
1868   M. E. Grant Duff Polit. Surv. 48   His territories in Asia..are more than twenty-one times the size of Scotland.
1904   Collier's 7 May 6 (caption)    They have attained a speed..as great as that of a torpedo-boat destroyer six or eight times the length.
1954   Househ. Guide & Almanac (News of World) 88   Multiple-stage rockets have attained..speeds of 5,200 m.p.h.—nearly seven times that of sound.
1984   P. Fitzgerald Charlotte Mew xiii. 128   She's had no chance whatever, and has 100 times my pluck and patience.
2008   Esquire Mar. 140/1   The average pay of a FTSE 100 company's boss is over a hundred times the average pay.

1610—2008(Hide quotations)

 d. Designating the multiplication table of the preceding cardinal numeral. Cf. times table n. (b) at Compounds 2.The two times table is also referred to by the ordinal, as twice times table.

 (a) Without table.

1863   J. Ingelow Poems 160   I've said my ‘seven times’ over and over, Seven times one are seven.
1906   R. Kipling Puck of Pook's Hill 38   I don't know my Nine Times—not to say it dodging.
1976   D. Storey Saville xi. 133   I want you to recite the two times, the three times, right through to your twelve times.

1863—1976(Hide quotations)


 (b) attributive with table.

1864   W. Easton Compl. Course Oral & Mental Arithm. 15   When this exercise can be readily done, pursue the same course with the three times table.
1883   D. Heywood 'Try' Arithm. All Classes Schools i. 31   Multiply 12340506 by two, and write out Twice-times Table.
1946   Math. Gaz. 30 255   Pupils who at the age of 12 cannot adequately use the twice times table.
1973   J. Wainwright Touch of Malice 124   A long-suffering father explaining the two-times-table to his dull-witted son.
1982   Sunday Tel. 2 May 11/1 (heading)    Know your 6-times table.
2007   C. MacFarlane Real Gorbals Story (2009) viii. 75   If we were learning the twelve times table, the teacher would pick someone out of the class and shout, ‘What is seven twelves?’.

1864—2007(Hide quotations)


20. Weather; (in plural) meteorological conditions. Obsolete. rare.When preceded by a modifying word this sense can be hard to distinguish from sense A. 2a.

?a1425   tr. Guy de Chauliac Grande Chirurgie (N.Y. Acad. Med.) f. 121   Of þise manerez þe first is more siker for macilent, or lene & drie, men & in colde tyme [L. tempore frigido].
?c1450  (a1388)    tr. Richard of Wallingford Exafrenon (Digby) in J. D. North Wks. Richard of Wallingford (1976) I. 183   Comonly in the myddis of the monethis the tymes [L. tempora] ben made dyverse as to effecte of the Sonne.
c1475   tr. Secreta Secret. (Tripolitanus abbrev.) (1977) 344 (MED)   In this ceason..The tyme is swete, the wyndes risen, the snowes meltyn.
?1503–5   H. Watson tr. Valentine & Orson (1937) 129   So muche the time was agreable vnto him that with in fewe daies he came and ariued at Constantinoble.
1544   T. Phaer tr. N. de Houssemaine Treat. Pestilence i. i. f. xiv, in Regiment of Lyfe (new ed.)    It is good in hote time, to strowe the chambre ful of wyllowe leaues, & other freshe bowes.
1587   L. Mascall First Bk. Cattell 251   In the soft ground, they maie..tosse and tumble in the durty water, which doth them much good in hot time.

?a1425—1587(Hide quotations)


 a. Originally (Boxing): the moment marking the end of the prescribed period of rest between two rounds, typically as announced by a referee or other designated person. Later more generally: a similar point marking the end of a period of rest or informal play in various other sports.Frequently in collocation with call. See also to call time at Phrases 4b.

1808   Morning Chron. 28 Oct. (heading)    On Gregson being beat by not being ready when time was called.
1824   P. Egan Boxiana II. 133   He appeared quite stunned, and when ‘time’ was announced, he could not quit the knees of his second.
1886   Salt Lake Daily Tribune 12 Dec. 4/8   A few seconds after time was called the wrestlers were throwing one another around at a lively rate.
1908   Amer. Lawn Tennis 15 June 69/1   The customary rest followed, and when time was called both seemed in good shape to continue.
1990   Match Fishing Feb. 37/3   I could hear time being called about 20 pegs away.
2005   Washington Post (Nexis) 6 Aug. e1   He..whipped on a fresh shirt and then bounced back up, ready to start the third set before time was called.

1808—2005(Hide quotations)


 b. In various sports: the moment marking the end of a match, or (occasionally) of some other prescribed portion of play; the signal given to mark this moment. Cf. full time n. 2, half-time n. 2b.

1840   Sporting Rev. July 59   Redgate went on again and bowled one over, when time was called, and the wickets were drawn.
1873   Carthusian Apr. 47/1   No doubt they might have made the game a tie, had not the other goal been kicked only ten minutes before time.
1926   P. C. Standing Anglo-Australian Cricket xxiii. 103   Ranjitsinhji..scored 42 and not out 93 and was still ‘keeping up his end’ when time was called.
1952   B. Joy Forward, Arsenal! (2009) xi. 81   It was nearly time... The Manchester players were becoming desperate.
1976   Sunday Mail (Glasgow) 28 Nov. 44/6   Scorers were Martin, in the first half, and Johnston just before time.
2005   R. Cavallini Wanderers F.C. v. 37   When time was called there was no score.

1840—2005(Hide quotations)


 c. The moment at which a public house or other licensed establishment ceases to sell drink; closing time. Also: the signal or announcement used to mark this. Cf. Phrases 4b(c).

1922   T. S. Eliot Waste Land ii. 23   Hurry up please its time.
1979   ‘C. Brand’ Rose in Darkness ii. 20   Soon he must turn her out..five minutes to Time.
1993   T. Hawkins Pepper vi. 118   They beat the crap out of me outside the pub after time.

1922—1993(Hide quotations)


 22. In plural. The set of particular times (sense A. 16) at which an omnibus or other public service vehicle regularly calls at the various stops along its route, spec. as reserved for a particular operator by formal agreement; the fact of owning such a concession, as a recognized commercial asset. Now disused.

1847   Times 22 May 111 (advt.)    50 valuable short-legged horses,..five excellent omnibuses nearly new,..the valuable times on the road, [etc.].
1856   Morning Chron. 13 Feb. 3/6   The suburban amalgamations [among omnibus proprietors] are becoming numerous; among these may be noted since the last report the vehicles, stock, and ‘times’ of Mrs. Edmonds.
1863   All Year Round 11 July 470/1   They [sc. the London General Omnibus Company] possessed themselves of the ‘times’ of all the important routes in London and the suburbs. These ‘times’ are, in fact, the good will of the roads, and were considered so valuable, that in some cases as much as from 200l. to 250l. were given for the ‘times’ of one omnibus.
1906   Westm. Gaz. 15 May 2/3   Emphasis [is] laid in one of the various motor-'bus prospectuses, just now..upon the value of the ‘times’ owned by each member of the associated companies.
1913   Times 20 Aug. 3/3   Certain motor-omnibus ‘times’ or ‘routes’ or ‘services’—call them what you will—have recently been established by companies having no standing in the town [sc. Croydon].

1847—1913(Hide quotations)

 III. Special and technical uses.

 23. Prosody. †A syllable, regarded as a metrical unit or unit of duration (obsolete); (spec. in Classical Prosody) a metrical unit equal to the duration of a short syllable; = mora n.1 3a   (sometimes more fully primary (or least) time ). Also used (usually with preceding modifying word) of longer metrical units or groups of units. Now rare.

OE   Byrhtferð Enchiridion (Ashm.) (1995) ii. i. 92   Þæt rihtmeteruers sceal habban feower and twentig timan.
OE   Byrhtferð Enchiridion (Ashm.) (1995) ii. i. 92   Dactilus stent on anum langum timan and twam sceortum, and spondeus stent on feowrum [read twam] langum.
1589   G. Puttenham Arte Eng. Poesie ii. xii. 91   A new inuention of feete and times.
1737   E. Manwaring Stichol. iii. 11   These Feet, particularly such as are of six Times, will be often found to be in separate Words.
1774   W. Mitford Ess. Harmony Lang. viii. 134   The English pentameter..is not confined to a precise number of times, but has generally from fifteen to eighteen.
1797   Monthly Mag. 3 258 (note)    Whatever exceeded two times (a short syllable being estimated as half a time) was termed not a foot but a number.
1822   E. Everett tr. P. Buttmann Greek Gram. 273   In measuring feet and verses, the short syllable is assumed as the unit, and the long syllable is regarded as double the short. Every such unit is called a time or mora.
1844   G. J. Pennington Ess. Pronunc. Greek Lang. 229   It was the number of times which went to a space which determined the rhythm. Thus the iambic rhythm has three times (˘¯).
1891   Cent. Dict. 6341/2   A time composed of two, three, etc., primary times..is called a disemic, trisemic, etc., time. Such times collectively are compound times.
1912   J. W. White Verse Greek Comedy i. 4   The thesis of a simple foot never contains fewer primary times than the arsis.
1947   R. C. Taliaferro tr. St. Augustine On Music ii. vi, in Writings II. 218   This foot is divided..either into one long and three shorts or into a long and short and two shorts, that is, either into two times and three times or into three and two.

OE—1947(Hide quotations)


 24. The period of gestation of a woman or female animal. Cf. sense A. 16b.

OE   Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 1st Ser. (Royal) (1997) ii. 190   Hire tima wæs gefylled þæt hio cynnan sceolde.
a1425   Lyf Oure Lady (Windsor) (1985) 56   Whan wommans time is fillid which is due kindely to childbering, þat is ij hunderd dayes sixti & sixtene.
1577   B. Googe tr. C. Heresbach Foure Bks. Husbandry iii. f. 127*   A Cowe and a Quene haue both one time.
1678   N. Wanley Wonders Little World ii. i. 94   At the end of her time she was delivered of a Girl who was deform'd in her right Leg.
1765   J. Memis Midwife's Pocket Compan. iii. i. 197   If a miscarriage happens when a woman has been long gone with child..the danger is great, and the more so the nearer she approaches to the end of her time.
1809   B. H. Malkin tr. A. R. Le Sage Adventures Gil Blas IV. xi. i. 246   Beatrice's time was up first: she was safely delivered of a daughter.
1897   Westm. Rev. Aug. 136   She was made pregnant by the heated froth of the boiling sea..and at the end of her time she gave birth to the lizard, the sun-god.
1965   P. Wrightson Thirteen paint Portrait i. 59   Marion looks rather ghastly. Poor girl, she is nearly at the end of her ‘time’.
2007   C. Iggulden Genghis: Birth of Empire i. 13   Hoelun was pregnant again and close to the end of her time.

OE—2007(Hide quotations)

OE   Ælfric Gram. (St. John's Oxf.) 124   Ac swa ðeah wise lareowas todældon þone praeteritvm tempvs, þæt is, ðone forðgewitenan timan, on þreo... Forði is se forðgewitena tima on ðreo todæled, forðan ðe naht ne byð swa gemyndelic on gecynde, swa þæt ys, þæt gedon byð.
c1450   in D. Thomson Middle Eng. Grammatical Texts (1984) 38 (MED)   How knowest a verbe? A party of reson that..is declined wyth moode and tyme.
a1504   J. Holt Lac Puerorum (1508) ii. sig. Ei   He taketh of a nowne gendre and case, of a verbe tyme & significacyon, of both nombre and fygure.
1561   T. Norton tr. J. Calvin Inst. Christian Relig. ii. xvii. f. 104v   The future time of the verbe doth not exclude present righteousnesse, as appereth by the processe of the texte.
c1620   A. Hume Of Orthogr. Britan Tongue (1870) ii. ix. §1   Tyme is an affection of the verb noating the differences of tyme, and is either present, past, or to cumm.
1686   R. Blome Gentlemans Recreation 2   Tense, or Time in Verbs, is generally Threefold, Present, Praeterit or Past, and Future or to come.
1757   London Mag. Aug. 388   In our account of the affirmation, we have found that its accidents or variations are, voices, persons, numbers, times, or tenses, and moods.
1884   A. Browning Weston School Man. 63   Tense or time is the form of the verb which shows when the action takes place; as, I write, I wrote, I shall write.
1919   W. L. Stoddard Everyday Eng. Writing vii. 72   No one knowing grammar could consciously make this mistake in the tense or time of the verb.
1982   L. McFall Enigma Hebrew Verbal Syst. 37   In 1751 Julius Bate put forward the idea that there were only two tenses, or times, in Hebrew.

OE—1982(Hide quotations)

 26. Music.

a. Rhythmic quality or precision in singing or dancing. Cf. number n. 14a. Obsolete.

1531   T. Elyot Bk. named Gouernour i. xxi. sig. Li   The associatinge of man & woman in daunsing, they bothe obseruinge one nombre and tyme in their meuynges.
1539   T. Elyot Bankette of Sapience f. 26   If in syngyng thou doest not regarde Noumbre and Tyme, thou arte not worthy to be called a good musitian.
1608   E. Topsell Hist. Serpents 70   They haue not the skill to daunce according to due time, order and proportion in Musicke, as they say Elephants can.
1749   J. Mason Ess. Power of Numbers & Princ. Harmony 32   How is it possible to accommodate the Quantity of the Notes to that of the Syllables, without spoiling the Air and Time of the Tune?

1531—1749(Hide quotations)


 b. Early Music. The relation between the time value of a breve and that of a semibreve. Cf. mood n.2 3a, prolation n. 2. Now historical.

?1596   W. Bathe Briefe Introd. Skill of Song sig. B.vv (in figure)    Perfect time. Imperfect time.
1597   T. Morley Plaine & Easie Introd. Musicke Annot. sig. ✮4   The signe at the beginning sheweth time perfect, so that euery briefe not hauing a semibriefe after it is three semibriefes.
1658   J. Playford Breif Introd. Skill Musick (new ed.) 20   Notes in Musick have two Names, one for Tune, the other for Time or Proportion of Sounds... Here (according to the ordinary Proportion of Time) we account two Minums to the Semibrief.
1782   C. Burney Gen. Hist. Music II. 210   Morley tells us that he used red notes in his Motets to imply a change of mode, time, and prolation.
1829   London Encycl. XV. 284/2   The terms mode, time, and prolation, signified only certain ways of fixing the relative value of notes.
1959   Musica Disciplina 13 65   Triple time-signature in mood, time and prolation remained in use in English music until the sixteenth century.
2002   A. M. B. Berger in T. Christensen Cambr. Hist. Western Music Theory xx. 640   Just as in the French system, the breves of imperfect time are one-third shorter than those of perfect time.

?1596—2002(Hide quotations)


 c. The rhythmic pattern or character of a piece or passage of music, typically expressed in terms of the way in which beats are grouped into recurring groups, and the temporal relationship between these larger groups and their smaller subdivisions; = metre n.1 6. Also: the characteristic rhythm of a particular type of music, esp. of dance music.Frequently with preceding modifying word or numerical expression; for more established compounds, as common time, triple time, etc.; for more established compounds see the first element. to beat time: see beat v.1 32.

1609   C. Butler Feminine Monarchie v. sig. F1   They sing both in triple time..some foure or fiue semibriefes.
1626   F. Bacon Sylua Syluarum §113   The Tripla's, and Changing of Times, haue an Agreement with the Changes of Motions; As when Galliard Time, and Measure Time, are in the Medley of one Dance.
1656   T. Blount Glossographia   Nonupla, a quick time in Musick peculiar to Gigs and such like; having nine Crotchets between Bar and Bar.
1706   A. Bedford Temple Musick iii. 62   'Tis..in the same Time and Tune.
1758   Herald 2 Mar. 146   I would have the music of the recitatives and choruses..new composed, and all made to minuet time.
1807   Universal Mag. Mar. 270/1   It consists of three movements, an allegro moderato, a rondo allegretto in 6-8 time, and an aria andantino in common time.
1863   Times 21 Sept. 10/3   Built upon a graceful melody in waltz-time, the chorus..is sustained with the utmost animation.
1921   B. M. Steigman Pertinent Wagnerite v. 122   He is accused of..wantonly and maliciously beating a relentless gymnastic four quarter time throughout.
1959   Billboard 13 July 28/3   Pop items like ‘Colonel Bogey March’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, played in happy cha cha time.
2002   N.Y. Times 25 Aug. ii. 25/2   The Russian mood continues in the opening of the finale, written in an un-Teutonic 5/4 time.

1609—2002(Hide quotations)


 d. The rate at which a piece of music is performed; the tempo.

1654   J. Playford Breefe Introd. Skill Musick 18   The Descant or Composition being of slow time fitted to sacred Hymnes.
1762   Monthly Rev. May 346   [They] could not forbear throwing themselves into antic postures and capers, rapid or slow, in proportion to the time of the music.
?1795   W. Mason Caractacus (new ed.) Gen. Instr. 4   The quickest Time must be sufficiently slow for the fingers to pronounce the words distinctly.
1825   Harmonicon May 81/2   Its effect..would be sensibly improved were it to be sung in a slower time..than it usually is.
1878   Biogr. Index 33/2 in Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland) (ed. 3)    The character both of the words and music is jubilant, and the necessity for a moderately fast ‘time’ is especially apparent if the older version is used.
1912   Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. 23 267   The time was too fast for a good waltz.
1957   G. B. L. Wilson Dict. Ballet 22   Allegro, a dance sequence executed to a fast time.
2008   T. M. Kitts Ray Davies v. 100   The song begins in a slower time and builds to its closing crescendo almost six..minutes later.

1654—2008(Hide quotations)


 e. More generally: the rhythm or beat of a piece of music.

1716   J. Fontaine Jrnl. 18 Apr. (1972) 98   Their motions answered in some way to the time of the music.
1779   Remembrancer 8 103   He that dances and keeps himself exactly to the time of the music cannot err.
1822   Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. Oct. 398/1   His strong leg was tattooing the floor to the time of the tune he was humming.
1890   Lancing College Mag. Apr. 843/2   Boïeldieu's overture ‘La Dame Blanche’..was very fairly rendered by the Band, though the time was occasionally a trifle ragged.
1913   E. B. Ordway Etiquette of To-day 197   First come the ushers,..keeping pace with the time of the music.
1983   M. G. Fields & K. Fields Lemon Swamp & Other Places (1985) v. 77   He always did slow, elegant movements, off the time of the music, and gliding, with his sister on his arm.
2007   L. Sandberg Acoustic Blues Guitar Styles ii. 14   The bass notes essentially fill the role of a drummer, providing a beat that helps keep the time steady.

1716—2007(Hide quotations)


 27. An occurrence of menstruation; = period n. 8. Frequently more fully as monthly time. Formerly also in plural: †the menstrual discharge (obsolete). Cf. month n.1 6. See also time of the month at Phrases 1e.

[a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. vii. lxiv. 426   Þis contagioun passiþ into þe childe..whanne a childe is conceyued in menstruel tyme [L. tempore menstruorum].]
1564   W. Bullein Dialogue against Fever Pestilence f. 30v   Certaine people maie not bleede: as women whiche haue their times aboundauntlie.
1642   in J. Evans Universall Med. sig. F   [She] continued bleeding more or lesse (and at the Monthly times in greater abundance) for a whole year or more.
1704   tr. P. Baldæus True Descr. Malabar & Coromandel in A. Churchill & J. Churchill Coll. Voy. III. 582/1   Women, who shall not be subject to the monthly times.
1757   H. Rimius Second Solemn Call Mr. Zinzendorf App. 74   This shift came at last into her Mind; to tell Mrs. Anna Neuser..that she had her monthly Time.
1879   J. M. Duncan Clin. Lect. Dis. Women xii. 137   The woman has this violent disease..during her monthly times.
1988   J. Lindsey Tender Rebel xli. 348   She had suspected her condition for the past week, after her monthly time was late.
2005   S. Alten Loch (2009) xv. 223   One day I found blood a' ower her sheets. She claimed it wis her woman's time.

1564—2005(Hide quotations)


 28. Fencing. The interval of time required by an opponent to initiate and perform a particular action, esp. regarded as an opportunity to make an attack or otherwise gain an advantage; a movement made by one's opponent which affords such an opportunity. Cf. tempo n.1 2. See also time attack n., time thrust n. at Compounds 2.

1594   I. G. tr. G. di Grassi True Arte Def. sig. A3   As his enemie moueth much in diuers times he may be aduertised hereby, to strike him in one or more of those times, so out of al due time spent [It. sotto uno o piu tempi indebitamente consumati].
1594   I. G. tr. G. di Grassi True Arte Def. sig. C1   When he would either strik or defend, to perform the same not in two times or in two motions, but rather in half a time or..motion.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl.   Time in Fencing, There are three Kinds of Time; that of the Sword; that of the Foot, and that of the whole Body. All the Times that are perceived out of their Measure, are only to be consider'd as Appeals or feints, to deceive and amuse the Enemy.
1885   E. Castle tr. S. Fabris in Schools & Masters of Fence vi. 100   A ‘time’ is a movement that one of the fencers makes within distance..thus a time is an opportunity, either for striking or assuming an advantage over your enemy.
1997   W. M. Gaugler Sci. of Fencing x. 114   Time in fencing signifies the favourable moment at which an offensive action will catch the adversary off guard.

1594—1997(Hide quotations)


29. Music. A measure of duration equal to the length of a bar or (occasionally) half a bar. Obsolete (historical in later use).

1665   C. Simpson Princ. Pract. Musick ii. 22   This Motion of the Hand is Down, and Vp, successively and equally divided. Every Down and Vp, being call'd a Time or Measure. And by this we measure the length of a Semibreve.
1686   New Method to learn to Sing 50   In this Example, you have two Staves of Lines; in the upper are Semibreves, each of which is a Time, and fill up a Bar.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. (at cited entry)   Some call each Half of the Measure in common Time, a Time.
1776   J. Hawkins Gen. Hist. Music II. ii. v. 187   If we measure a time, or, as we now call it, a bar, by pauses, as Franchinus directs, it will be found that [etc.].

1665—1776(Hide quotations)


 30. Dressage. A single completed motion or action of a horse's movement. Now only with preceding numeral, in descriptions of a particular gait according to the number of separate movements of the legs of which it is considered to consist, as two time, three time, four time.

1726   N. B. Farrier's & Horseman's Dict. 429/2   By Time is sometimes understood the Motion of a Horse who observes Measure and Justness in the Manage, or the Interval between two of its Motions: and sometimes, it signifies the Effect of one of the Aids; as, when they say such a Horseman disposes his Horse for the Effects of the Heel, in beginning with one Time of the Legs, and he never runs precipitantly upon his Legs.
1874   tr. E.-J. Marey Animal Mechanism ii. vi. 164   Most of the writers..name them [sc. paces of a horse], according to this rhythm, gallop in two, three, and four time.
1874   tr. E.-J. Marey Animal Mechanism ii. vi. 168   Representation of a horse galloping.—For this representation we will give three attitudes, differing much from each other, corresponding nearly with the three kinds of time found in this pace.
1901   M. H. Hayes Riding & Hunting xi. 233   The trot is a diagonal pace of two time (near fore and off hind, and off fore and near hind).
1990   N. Bartle tr. A. Knopfhart Fund. Dressage i. i. 8   Flying changes, the half-pass at canter and the canter-pirouette can be executed by a horse that canters four-time.
2007   J. Whitaker & I. Whitelaw Horse 157/2   The horse is reined back in regular two-time steps, and then moves forward in four-time.

1726—2007(Hide quotations)


 31. Originally: the rate at which troops are to march, usually expressed in terms of the number of paces taken per minute. Later more generally: the rate at which participants in any formal procession, parade, etc., march or walk.

1766   T. O'Loghlen Marine Volunteer iv. 57 (heading)    How to change Time in Marching.
1787   I. Landmann tr. F. C. von Saldern Elements Tacticks ii. i. 38   He who believes, that upon the word step out; they march by a faster time, is mistaken.
1802   C. James New Mil. Dict.   Quick Step, or Quick Time, is 108 steps of 30 inches each, or 270 feet in a minute, and is the step used in all filings of divisions. Quickest Step, or Quickest Time is 120 steps of 30 inches each, or 300 feet in a minute.
1859   Field Exercise Infantry (rev. ed.) 21   The time having been given on a drum, on the word March, the squad will move off.
1911   C. Mackenzie Passionate Elopement v. 48   Mr. Mayor, preceded by his mace, set the time, and a line of Aldermen carefully ordered their pace to his.
1995   M. Hodd East Afr. Handbk. 247   He [sc. the head porter] would often lead the singing and give a marching time to the porters.

1766—1995(Hide quotations)


 32. In phrenology: the faculty of being aware of the passage of time. Now historical.

1815   J. G. Spurzheim Physiognom. Syst. viii. 40   The faculty of time also seems to me a quite distinct faculty: it may exist without order and number... The seat of the organ of time is higher than that of the organ of number.
1850   O. Gilbert Narr. Sojourner Truth 20   Isabella had not then sufficiently cultivated her organ of time to calculate years, or even weeks or hours.
1860   R. G. Mayne Expos. Lexicon Med. Sci.   Time,..Phrenol., a Faculty..giving the power of judging of time, and of intervals in general.
1890   M. O. Stanton Syst. Pract. & Sci. Physiognomy I. i. v. 210   The faculty of Time has several diverse phases and is manifested in very different and distinct ways.
1993   M. Rilling in S. T. Boysen & E. J. Capaldi Devel. Numerical Competence i. 9   Gall's section on counting was followed by a section devoted to the faculty of time.

1815—1993(Hide quotations)

 IV. In generalized sense.

 33. Duration conceived as beginning and ending with the present life or the material universe, or as the sphere within which human affairs are contained; finite duration as distinct from eternity; the duration of the world or universe.

a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 48   Hise word, ðat is hise wise sune..was of hin fer ear bi-foren Or ani werldes time boren.
c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Royal) (1850) Apoc. x. 6   The aungel..swoor by the lyuynge..that made of nouȝt heuen..for tyme shal no more be.
c1425  (c1400)    Prymer (Cambr.) (1895) 6   Þe seete of endeles blis, þere þou [sc. the Virgin Mary] dwellist wiþ þi sone wiþ-outen tyme.
1507   A. Chertsey tr. Honorius Augustodunensis Lucydarye (de Worde) sig. Aiiv   He [sc. God] gouerneth ye thynges the whiche ben in the oryent, and those the whiche ben in the occydent..and therfore a man sayth that he is all tyme & all thynges.
1567   J. Jewel Def. Apol. Churche Eng. iv. 446   The Abomination of Desolation shal stande in the Churche, vntil the Consummation, or ende of time.
1605   R. Mason Reasons Academie 93   The first estates, determine in time: and the second being reall estates, onely with time: and not before the ending of time.
1635   J. Swan Speculum Mundi i. §3. 15   All time compared with eternitie is but short time, yea indeed as no time.
1646   R. Crashaw Steps to Temple 33   Weake Time shall be pour'd out Into Eternity.
1745   Sc. Transl. & Paraphr. xxxv. ix   He lov'd us from the first of Time, And loves us to the last.
a1758   A. Ramsay Some of Contents Ever-green (1761) xi   A monument..Quhilk sall endure quhyle tymis telled out be days.
1785   W. Cowper Task v. 529   All has its date below; the fatal hour Was registered in Heaven ere time began.
1803   R. Heber Palestine 28   His voice amid the thunder's roar, His dreadful voice, that time should be no more.
1838   A. Edson Mem. C. Hamilton (ed. 2) xiii. 150   Raising her eyes towards heaven, as she closed them on time.
1868   Evangelical Repository & United Presbyterian Rev. Dec. 104   As far as..the great things of eternity exceed the small things of time, so far does moral glory exceed all other kinds of glory.
1908   Westm. Gaz. 4 June 10/3   Once make a success as a Cockney or a love-sick maiden, and a Cockney or a love-sick maiden you will be to the end of time.
1971   G. Urang Shadows of Heaven iv. 145   Existence under the conditions of time gives way to the mode of being which we call eternal life.
2009   San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News (Nexis) 1 Mar.   In the Sarabande, the music seemed to stand outside time.

a1325—2009(Hide quotations)


 a. Indefinite continuous duration regarded as that in which existence, and the sequence of events, takes place; the abstract entity which passes, goes by, or is consumed as events succeed one another, esp. in regard to the bringing about of anticipated developments, change, etc.

1340   Ayenbite (1866) 56 (MED)   Ine þise manere geþ þe tyme.
a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. ix. ii. 517   Tyme is mesure of chaungeable þingis, as Aristotel seiþ.
a1425  (?a1400)    G. Chaucer Romaunt Rose (Hunterian) (1891) l. 381   The tyme..goth..As watir that doun renneth ay But neuer drope Retourne may.
c1500   Lyfe Roberte Deuyll 121 in W. C. Hazlitt Remains Early Pop. Poetry Eng. (1864) I. 224   The tyme drewe so, that nyne monethes was past.
1529   T. More Supplyc. Soulys f. 10   The kyngs hyghnes at length (as tyme alwaye tryeth owte the trouth) well perceyved hys innocency.
1539   R. Taverner tr. Erasmus Prouerbes sig. E.vi   There is no dyspleasure so great, no hatred so impotent, no sorowe so immoderate, but tyme asswageth it.
1594   L. Lewkenor tr. O. de la Marche Resolued Gentleman f. 4   Banquettes..and such lyke: wherein Time, the treasure of life is consumed, and nothing hoorded vp, but griefe and repentance.
1638   F. Junius Painting of Ancients 29   In processe of time.
1651   T. Hobbes Leviathan ii. xxx. 176   Time, and Industry, produce every day new Knowledge.
1690   J. Locke Ess. Humane Understanding ii. xiv. 87   This Consideration of Duration, as set out by certain Periods, and marked by certain Measures or Epochs, is that, I think, which most properly we call Time.
1705   J. Addison Remarks Italy 504   Whether or no they have done well, to set up for making another kind of Figure, Time will witness.
1743   R. Blair Grave 26   Think we, or think we not, Time hurries on With a resistless unremitting Stream.
1794   A. Radcliffe Myst. of Udolpho III. v. 101   The few grey locks, which time had spared on his temples.
1821   Ld. Byron Cain iii. i, in Sardanapalus 414   The mind then hath capacity of time, And measures it by that which it beholds, Pleasing or painful.
1849   Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 10 i. 18   They leave it to time and nature to grass it over again.
1924   Friend (Honolulu, Hawaii) Mar. 76/1   Time softens and mellows the ordeal of reading our compositions..in the large school-room.
1988   R. Silverberg At Winter's End ix. 200   Time passes, and we all grow older.
2002   Victorian July 30/2   Victorian buildings that had survived the ravages of time and the doodlebug.

1340—2002(Hide quotations)


 b. Frequently with capital initial. The personification of this. Also called (Old) Father Time .Conventionally represented as an aged man carrying a scythe and frequently an hourglass; sometimes also as bald except for a single lock of hair (see also to take Time by the forelock at Phrases 6g; but cf. occasion n.1 1b).

▸ ?a1439   J. Lydgate Fall of Princes (Bodl. 263) i. l. 1437   Tyme [MS Tymes] with his rasour hath..Shauen a-wey the honour and the glory Off many a noble.
1509   S. Hawes Pastime of Pleasure (1555) xliv. C iv   Sodainly came Time in breuiacion Whose similitude, I shall anone expresse Aged he was, with a bearde doubtles Of swalowes feaders.
1559   Passage Quene Elyzabeth (new ed.) sig. D.i   This olde man with the sythe, olde father tyme they call.
1597   N. Ling Politeuphuia: Wits Common Wealth f. 219   Time is so swift of foote, that beeing once past, he can neuer be ouer-taken. The fore-locks of time are the deciders of many doubts.
1609   W. Shakespeare Troilus & Cressida iii. iii. 139   Time hath (my Lord) a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts almes for obliuion.  
a1616   W. Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) ii. ii. 71   The plaine bald pate of Father time himselfe.  
1679   J. Dryden Troilus & Cressida iii. i. 25   He's an old wooden top, set up by father Time three hundred years ago.
1683   W. Soames tr. N. Boileau-Despréaux Art of Poetry iii. 42   To paint old Ianus with his front of Brass, And take from Time his Scythe, his Wings and Glass.
1720   J. Dart tr. Tibullus Wks. viii. 51   Improve the Hours of every happy Day, For nimble Time walks unobserv'd away.
1747   W. King Toast iv. 164   If the Women are Bald, or their Tresses are Grey; Father Time, and the Fates are in Fault—and not they.
1820   W. Irving Westm. Abbey in Sketch Bk. vii. 26   Time is ever silently turning over his pages.
1883   O. W. Holmes Loving-cup Song 29   Old Time his rusty scythe may whet.
1904   Collier's 7 May 20/2   One is almost sorry for old Father Time..and yet there were many years when his scythe was a most formidable weapon.
1982   P. Dickinson Last House-party (1983) ii. 18   Time emerged..no friendly old gaffer with a scythe, but close kin to the skeleton reaper of the Totentanz.
1996   R. Gosden Cheating Time iii. 69   Just as we have reached the so-called prime of life..we catch a glimpse of Old Father Time waiting in the wings.

?a1439—1996(Hide quotations)


 c. Chiefly Science Fiction. Time viewed as a medium through which travel into the past or future is hypothesized or imagined to be possible. Also in extended use. Cf. time travel n.

1866   Cornhill Mag. Nov. 567   This charm of travelling would become perfect if we could travel in time as well as in space—if..we could sometimes take a fortnight in the fifteenth century, or, still more pleasant, a leap into the twenty-first.
1895   H. G. Wells in New Rev. Jan. 99   You have to admit that time is a spatial dimension,..and then all sorts of remarkable consequences are found inevitable. Among others, that it becomes possible to travel about in time.
1937   Astounding Stories Aug. 70/2   The Time Traveler could move forward in time!
1975   Observer 5 Jan. 15/5   Not so long ago we were justified in seeing the granite fortress of St Andrews as a kind of Tardis. Step through the door and you were transported back in time to the early twenties.
1993   M. Atwood Robber Bride xii. 73   Trying to go back in time, to create the perfect pre-teen bedroom she once longed for but never had.
2011   Guardian (Nexis) 24 Sept. 7   If particles could travel faster than light, special relativity suggests travelling backwards through time is a possibility, but how anyone harnesses that to do anything useful is beyond the reach of any technology or material we have today.

1866—2011(Hide quotations)


 a. Science. With preceding distinguishing word. A particular system of measuring or reckoning the length of the day and hence the passage of time.The length of the day is traditionally defined by the recurring passage through the sky of the sun or other celestial object. In the 20th cent. more accurate laboratory-based methods of measuring time, and hence the day length, were developed. Factors such as the motion of the earth about the sun, the earth's slightly irregular speed of rotation, and the celestial object chosen (sun, moon, or stars) all contribute to a variable day length. Cf. equation of time at equation n. 3a.apparent, atomic, earth, ephemeris, sidereal time, etc.: see the first element.

1646   G. Wharton Bellum Hybernicale 2   First, I will artificially erect the Figure of heaven, according to the doctrine of Regiomontanus, to the true, or apparent time of this Conjunction, and afterwards compare it with that, which Booker hath published.
1686   W. Molyneux Sciothericum Telescopicum x. 45   For so much is the aequation on the 4th of May to be substracted from the apparent time of the Sun to gain the mean time of the Clock; that is, when the Sun shews it to be 9 a Clock in the morning, the Clock ought to be but 8h. 55′. 43″.
1699   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 21 330   The end [of the Eclipse] happened here, precisely Twenty four Minutes and Nine seconds after Ten a Clock in the Morning, apparent Time.
1735   Philos. Trans. 1733–4 (Royal Soc.) 38 304   Its Pendulum was adjusted to such a Length, that in London it vibrated Seconds, of Siderial, and not of Solar Time.
1824   F. Bailey New Method determining Longitude 15   The apparent time of the moon's culmination at Paris..was 8h16m.
1834   Nat. Philos. (Libr. Useful Knowl.) III. Math. Geogr. v. 16/1   A common sun-dial shows the hour of apparent time. Time-keepers or chronometers, common watches and clocks, are made to show the hour of mean time.
1910   C. L. Poor Naut. Sci. vii. 154   To find the substellar point..it is necessary for the observer to know the sidereal time at which the observation is made.
1965   Science 8 Oct. 173/1   The second of Universal Time..could be realized..by astronomical measurements, mechanical clocks, molecular clocks, oscillating crystals, or atomic clocks.
1996   Sky & Telescope Sept. 86/1   The Earth is slowing. The measure of this effect is called Delta T (ΔT ) which is the difference between Dynamical Time (based on gravitational theory and atomic clocks) and Universal Time (based on Earth's rotation).
2009   W. G. Hopkins & N. P. A. Hüner Introd. Plant Physiol. (ed. 4) xxiv. 425/3   Phase-shifting in this way constantly adjusts or entrains the rhythm to local solar time.

1646—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. With preceding distinguishing expression (usually a place name, or a season of the year): the system used for reckoning time (sense A. 14b) at a particular locality, or under particular circumstances (esp. the shortening or lengthening of the hours of daylight during a particular season); the time as reckoned according to the specified system. Also with possessive adjective, with reference to the time zone of the person or persons specified.Greenwich time: see Greenwich n. 1b. standard time: see standard adj. 3f. See also railway time n., ship time n. at ship n.1 Compounds 2a, summertime n. 2.

1754   J. Robertson Elements Navigation II. ix. x. 307   The difference between the Greenwich time and the ship's time, is the difference of longitude.
1760   R. Heath Astronomia Accurata 239/1   [The] Moon souths later at Greenwich in Greenwich Time, than at Paris, in Paris Time.
1836   Times 16 Nov. 3/3   Quarter-past 11, over the district of Namur. Midnight by London time—extremely dark.
1840   Minutes Board of G.W.R. in Railway Gaz. (1935) 30 Aug. (G.W.R. Suppl.) 7/2   Outside clock to be provided for each station so as to be seen by passing trains, in order to ensure punctuality. London time to be adopted at all stations.
1859   Central City (Syracuse, N.Y.) Daily Courier 5 Jan. (advt.)    Trains leave Buffalo daily..from Erie street Depot, on New York time, as follows.
1866   J. E. Gastrell & H. F. Blanford Rep. Calcutta Cyclone 39   Mr. Grant assures me that his watch was correct by Calcutta time when he started on the previous day.
1897   Bismarck (N. Dakota) Daily Tribune 8 Sept. 2/5   The Northern Pacific will run an accommodation train..leaving Mandan at 12 o'clock our time.
1916   Times 13 Apr. 7/6   The [German] Federal Council has..ordered the institution of what is called ‘German Summer Time’.
1916   Manitoba Free Press 25 Apr. 4/1   With very little confusion the daylight saving time was adopted by all Winnipeg and its suburbs yesterday.
1935   Cook's Continental Time Table Mar. 102   Moscow time is two hours later than that of Greenwich.
1948   A. N. Keith Three came Home xviii. 295   He telephones me from Australia... We speak at twelve midnight, my time.
1979   P. Hill Washermen xxxiv. 81   [He] arrives at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon our time.
2010   New Yorker 1 Feb. 43/1   Santelli's rant was delivered at 7:10 A.M., Chicago time.

1754—2010(Hide quotations)


 c. Chiefly depreciative or humorous. With preceding modifying word relating to a group, country, etc.: the attitude to timekeeping associated with the specified type of people, usually implying a relaxed, haphazard, or unreliable approach to punctuality, keeping to a schedule, etc.

1936   C. Carmer Listen for Lonesome Drum iii. ii. 91   They come on Indian time—about an hour later than the time set.
1945   H. C. McQueen Vocations for Maori Youth ii. 41   ‘Maori time’, the casualness of meals and meal-times, the frequent indifference towards the completion of a piece of work.
1972   Boston Sunday Globe 23 July b29/1   The train from Nogales..[is] on the old-fashioned side but comfortable—if you don't care what time you get there. It runs on Mexican time. Manana is soon enough.
1992   N.Y. Times Mag. 13 Oct. 32/2   Only four students are at their desks... ‘I see we're operating on Gay People Time.’
2005   M. H. Smith Delicious x. 118   Wilson was late, as usual... There was island time, usually a good fifteen to twenty minutes slow; and there was Wilson time. That was whenever he got around to it or felt like it.

1936—2005(Hide quotations)

 B. int.

  Used to indicate that a particular moment in time has arrived, esp.  (a) the end of a period of rest or informal play, or of a prescribed portion of play, in various sports (cf. senses A. 21a, A. 21b);  (b) the end of opening hours in a public house or other licensed establishment (cf. sense A. 21c). Cf. also to call time at Phrases 4b.

1816   Bell's Weekly Disp. 12 May in P. Egan Sporting Anecd. (1820) 414   The dogs were under the care of their seconds, when several persons cried out ‘Time, time.’
1833   Cricketers' Reg. 25 in New Sporting Mag. 5   The umpire called ‘Time,’ on which the two batsmen left their ground.
1884   Cornhill Mag. Apr. 436   The gusto with which he arranged the ring, and called, ‘Time, gentlemen, if you please.’
1899   Amer. Monthly Mag. Apr. 652   Cries of ‘Time! Time!’... Chairman. It is the duty of the Chair to call time when three minutes have elapsed.
1901   ‘B. L. Standish’ Frank Merriwell's School Days vi. 46   ‘Time!’ called the referee... Then the two foes stood face to face.
1902   G. Hill in G. R. Sims Living London II. 292/2   The potmen look to the fastenings of doors, lights are lowered, and cries of ‘Time, gentlemen, please!’ grow more peremptory.
1953   J. Mortimer Like Men Betrayed v. 87   It's not very comfortable in our pub... They're always shouting ‘time’ and turning the lights on and off.
1989   A. Sinclair War like Wasp xvi. 231   Maclaren-Ross hardly heeded the nightly ritual pub reminder, ‘Time, gentlemen, please. Time.’
2004   P. E. High Step to Stars 95   Somewhere a voice shouted ‘Time!’ and Bretton almost collapsed in the folding chair. The huge sponge..was almost slapped into his face.

1816—2004(Hide quotations)

 C. conj.

 1. English regional and U.S. regional. During the time that; while; when. Now rare.

1875   E. Tweddell Rhymes Cleveland Dial. 22   Let's be off,..tahme it's seea nice an' leet.
1926   E. Ferber Show Boat 124   I was keelboatin' time you was runnin' around, a barefoot on the landin'.
1948   M. Carbery & E. Grey Herts. Heritage 145   Time, when: ‘Time we lived Redbourne way.’
1950   R. Moore Candlemas Bay 13   Time Joel Walls had his net, one night he caught seven hogsids.

1875—1950(Hide quotations)


 2. colloquial (chiefly U.S. and Caribbean). By the time that; as soon as; at the moment that.Formerly esp. in representations of African-American usage.

1887   J. C. Harris Free Joe 85   Time I look at 'im I know he ain' de villyun w'at make off wid my ginger-cakes.
1890   Cornhill Mag. Nov. 547   But, time I gave her the address, she went on as if she would like to go, and meant a-going, the very next day.
1921   B. B. Valentine Ole Marster 21   Big Aaron call', an' time I tu'n an' look, He threw his han's up 'fo' his eyes, an' hid his face.
1938   M. K. Rawlings Yearling ix. 78   You git on to the sink-hole, son, and I'll foller time I've skinned out your 'coon hide.
1961   R. Gover One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding 135   He gone so lo-o-o-o-ng! Time he git back, I near outta my black hide.
1975   O. Thomas Rain falling, Sun Shining 15   I asked my friend, Kenny To lend me a penny But time I reach Tantie it lost.
2009   S. Littlefield Bad Day for Sorry ix. 264   They took you to surgery as soon as they got you in here, but time I got over here, you were in recovery.

1887—2009(Hide quotations)



 P1. With another noun.
 a. time of day (also time of the day).

 (a) A point or period in the course of a day or of the diurnal cycle; = sense A. 14b. In later use also: a point or stage in any period or course of events (somewhat colloquial).

c1225  (?c1200)    St. Margaret (Bodl.) (1934) 18 (MED)   As þah hit were þe seoueðe time of þe dei.
a1325  (?c1300)    Northern Passion (Cambr. Gg.1.1) l. 407 (MED)   It is time of dai man to wake, Som del of mi sorwe sclake.
c1400  (▸1391)    G. Chaucer Treat. Astrolabe (Cambr. Dd.3.53) (1872) ii. §33. 42   This is no mor to seyn but any tyme of the day tak the altitude of the sonne.
1440   J. Capgrave Life St. Norbert (1977) l. 2387   What for þe sunne sore he gan to swete..Tyme of þe day was euene þe nontyde.
a1547   J. Redford Moral Play Wit & Sci. (1848) 3   Ah! syr, what tyme of day yst?
1595   A. Copley Wits Fittes & Fancies ii. 78   They are by this time of day deep rooted in his beleefe.
1634   J. Ford Chron. Hist. Perkin Warbeck iii. sig. E3   How runnes the time of day?.. Past tenne my Lord.
1700   J. Collier 2nd Def. Short View Stage 114   The Favour of a Prince was not..unreputable at that time of day.
1771   T. Smollett Humphry Clinker I. 21   I will not begin at this time of day to distress my tenants, because they..cannot make regular payments.
1783   Encycl. Brit. X. 8716/1   The precise time of the day in which the flowers of different plants open, expand, and shut.
1810   R. B. Sheridan Let. 20 Apr. (1966) III. 83   Without dissembling the hardship it [sc. not having a servant] will be to me, At my Time of Day.
1862   Bradford Advertiser 15 Mar. 6/1   No man at this time of day pretends to maintain, that [etc.].
1870   J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 25   A watch... At least 'twad ha'e tald him the time o' the day.
1905   Sat. Rev. 28 Jan. 107/1   At this time of day it seems incredible that any modern shrub should suffer the abhorred shears.
1937   Times 29 July 10/2   That such varied theories should at this time of day be advanceable but serves to show how much we are in the dark.
1981   D. Anderson Rough Layout xii. 93   The worst time of the day was when your father would come home.
2007   D. S. Wilson Evol. for Everyone xii. 75   Morning sickness..is better named pregnancy sickness because it can occur at any time of day.

c1225—2007(Hide quotations)

 (i) to give (wish, etc.) the time of day (to) .

 (1) To greet (as by saying ‘good morning’, etc.). Now rare and somewhat archaic.

1594   W. Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 2 iii. i. 14   In the morne, When euery one will giue the time of day.
1611   R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues   Saluër, to salute, greet,..giue the time of the day vnto.
1674   tr. P. M. de la Martinière New Voy. Northern Countries 92   Discerning we were strangers, [he] saluted us in Dutch, gave us the time of the day.
1707   J. Stevens tr. F. de Quevedo Comical Wks. (1709) 300   It shall be always allow'd to give the Time of the Day, but no New-Years-Gifts.
1844   Literary Garland Mar. 116/1   He smiled, and lifting his hat from his head, gave her the time of day.
1906   S. Ford Shorty McCabe vii. 165   She had her lamps turned our way, and I hears Sadie give her the time of the day as sweet as you please.
1913   A. Huxley Let. 30 July (1969) 48   Dearest Father, Just to wish you the time of day and so forth.

1594—1913(Hide quotations)


 (2) colloquial. To be civil towards, acknowledge the presence of, help or cooperate with (a person). Chiefly in negative contexts.

1851   A. Spiers Dict. Général Français–Anglais (ed. 3) 105/1   Ne pas traiter q. u. [= quelqu'un] avec les [civilité]s ordinaires,..not to give a. o. [= any one] the time of the day.
1902   ‘M. E. Francis’ Manor Farm xxii. 347   And ye won't so much as give her the time o' day!
1964   Charleston (W. Virginia) Daily Mail 7 Jan. 6/2   Some hens are talkative; others are close-mouthed and wouldn't give you the time of day.
1979   A. Maling Koberg Link (1980) xxiii. 123   You've come to the wrong place. Paul Carmichael won't give me the time of day.
2005   B. Keating & S. Keating Blood Sisters (2006) ii. 31   The Britishers will never consider us as their own... They won't give us the time of day when Uhuru comes.

1851—2005(Hide quotations)


 (ii) Used in greetings, as (good, fair) time of day (to you) . Now archaic and rare.

1597   W. Shakespeare Richard III i. iii. 18   Good time of day vnto your royall grace.  
1600   W. Shakespeare Henry V v. ii. 3   To our brother France, Faire time of day.
1601   B. Jonson Every Man in his Humor i. iv. sig. D2   The time of daye to you Gentleman: is Signior Prospero stirring?  
1813   C. Lamb Mr. H. ii. i. 24   Good time of day to you, Mr. Hogsflesh.
1842   T. Cross Edric v. vii. 98   Good time of day to William's chosen chief.
1979   E. Bentley tr. H. von Kleist Wannsee in Mass. Rev. Autumn 548/1   Rosalie: This is Count Frederick, Sybilla. Sybilla: The time of day to you, most noble sir!

1597—1979(Hide quotations)


 (iii) to pass the time of day : to exchange greetings, pleasantries, or casual remarks; to spend time chatting, usually briefly.

1835   N.-Y. Spectator 22 June   This [sc. ‘howdy’] is an idiom, and corresponds rather to our fashion of ‘passing the time of day’ with a man.
1854   A. E. Baker Gloss. Northamptonshire Words I. 175   ‘To pass the time of day’. To greet in passing, as ‘Good morning’, &c.
1922   J. Joyce Ulysses ii. 280   I was just passing the time of day with old Troy..and be damned but a bloody sweep came along and he near drove his gear into my eye.
1965   Listener 23 Sept. 453/2   The English chaps would pretend..to be very friendly and jovial and pass the time of day and that sort of thing.
2000   F. Keane Stranger's Eye 159   Men were starting to patrol without flak jackets and stopping to pass the time of day with people on the street.

1835—2000(Hide quotations)


 (c) As the type of something of little value, in negative expressions, esp. not worth the time of day.Apparently rare before the 20th cent.

1609   W. Shakespeare Pericles xvii. 35   None woulde looke on her..and helde a Mawkin not worth the time of day .  
1898   Salt Lake Semi-Weekly Tribune 27 Dec. 5/4   That jay ain't worth her time of day.
1947   San Jose (Calif.) Evening News 24 Apr. 19/2   I never met a tough guy who was worth the time of day.
1977   A. Mitra Calcutta Diary xxxiv. 146   The credibility of the Government has been so much eroded that many will not trust it even with the time of the day.
2007   J. D. Mason This Fire Down in my Soul 191   Married men were no–no's and not worth the time of day, and Lewis wasn't even her type.

1609—2007(Hide quotations)


 (d) colloquial or slang. The prevailing aspect of affairs; the state of the case; the right or most effective way of doing something (esp. when this is regarded as not generally known). In later use chiefly in to know the time of day : to be well-informed, to ‘know what's what’ (cf. to know what o'clock it is at clock n.1 4).

1667   M. Poole Dialogue between Popish Priest & Protestant 161   No friend, it is not that time of day.
1682   J. Bunyan Holy War 10   If that be done, I know, quickly what time of day 'twill be with us.  
1690   Char. Jacobite 3   They give him such Counsel as they believe him inclined to..which is a kind of setting the Sun by the Dyal; so that the King never knows what time of day 'tis among his Subjects.
1829   Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. July 131   Who should I meet, but a jolly blowen, Who was fly to the time o' day.
1837   C. Dickens Pickwick Papers xxxviii. 422   Steady, Sir, steady; that's the time o' day.
1897   ‘Ouida’ Massarenes xxvii   ‘She knows the time o' day’, said the other.
1910   W. Boyle Mineral Workers i. 9   Mary Mulroy, it's a good job for you someone knows the time of day. If they didn't, you and Ned and this feather-headed son o' yours 'id be made hares of.
1993   J. Grigg Hist. ‘The Times’ VI. 47   Heath he had every reason to admire, as a Conservative who knew the time of day and as a dedicated European.
2010   Herald (Glasgow) (Nexis) 23 Nov. (Sport section) 14   He was a good trainer and he knew the time of day.

1667—2010(Hide quotations)


 b. time of life: a point or epoch in the course of a person's life; a person's age.In later use sometimes used spec. of middle age, or of the menopause.

1539   Bible (Great) Gen. xviii. f. viv/2   In returnynge, I wil come agayne vnto the, acordinge to the tyme of lyfe.
1576   R. Robinson tr. F. Patrizi Moral Methode Ciuile Policie f. 54v   They do deuide our age, or tyme of lyfe by the number of seauen.
a1647   T. Hooker Applic. of Redempt.: First 8 Bks. (1656) v. 266   If the work of Grace had been appropriated to any time of Life, either Youth, Man-hood, or Old Age, alone.
1741   S. Richardson Pamela IV. xlix. 301   If she would..not endeavour to conceal her Age, she would have a great many Compliments for looking so well at her Time of Life.
a1771   T. Gray Candidate (?1780) 1   At our time of life, 'twould be silly, my dear.
1838   E. C. Gaskell Let. 17 Aug. (1966) 25   We agreed..that when people are come to yr time of life, there is no use having long engagements.
1883   Wellsboro (Pa.) Agitator 27 Nov.   How could she wear flaxen hair and bangs at her time of life? It was indecent, improper, scandalous!
1971   ‘E. Ferrars’ Stranger & Afraid vi. 100   Whatever's wrong with a woman over forty, it seems to me, people say it's her Time of Life.
1981   J. Mann Funeral Sites xxii. 132   Aidan has already threatened me with psychiatrists. He says it is ‘my time of life’.
2002   Mandala Mar. 54/2   The child actually became the caregiver at a time of life when he or she should have been the cared for.

1539—2002(Hide quotations)


 c. Chiefly Shipbuilding. time and lime: used to refer to an arrangement by which a ship is built for the cost of labour and materials, plus an agreed percentage. Frequently attributive. Now rare.Although the earliest evidence relates to shipbuilding, the use of lime n.1 2   in the phrase may suggest an origin in bricklaying or a similar trade; cf. quot. 1914, which relates to building generally.

1902   R. MacIntyre in Brit. at Work 272   Some concerns..merely charge material and labour [for building a steamer]—‘time and lime’ is the not inapt description of this system—plus a certain percentage as profit.
1914   Sessions Cases (House of Lords) 89   In building transactions there are what are known as time and lime contracts.
1918   Manch. Guardian 1 May 5/6   The shipyards are building on what is called the ‘time and lime’ system.
1968   Jrnl. Industr. Econ. 17 13   Naval building may also be assumed to be generally profitable since so much of it has the character of prototype construction and tends to be on ‘time and lime’.

1902—1968(Hide quotations)


 d. a matter (also question) of time : said with reference to an event or circumstance that is thought certain to come about, or to resolve itself in a particular way, sooner or later. Esp. in it's only a matter (or question) of time .

1830   New Monthly Mag. 29 314   We have found the difference between the most zealous reformers, and those who once sneered at the very name, sunk into a question of degree; as the abolition of slavery has become a question of time.
1837   W. Walton Revol. of Spain I. 352   Their reconciliation to their sovereign and their country, if they sincerely wished it.., was merely a matter of time.
1851   Amer. Whig Rev. Dec. 543/1   Altogether, the continuance of the Mexican republic seems to be merely a matter of time. It must, sooner or later, fall to pieces.
1858   Friendly Societies' Jrnl. Dec. 39/2   It will be only a question of time before you act in accordance with my recommendation.
1928   E. O'Neill Strange Interlude iii. 94   I'm making good, all right..since I got married—and it's only a question of time.
1963   ‘J. le Carré’ Spy who came in from Cold viii. 81   It was only a matter of time before it packed up.
2009   Ireland's Eye Jan. 21/1   It was only a matter of time before this son of a bitch was drummed out of the Force.

1830—2009(Hide quotations)


 e. euphemistic. time of the month (also bad time of the month): the time during which a woman is menstruating; an occurrence of menstruation; frequently with possessive adjective. Cf. period n. 8.

1931   E. R. Groves & G. H. Groves Sex in Marriage vii. 177   She who doubts the warmth of her passionate nature will do well to accept the aid of her ‘time of the month’ in educating her sex powers.
1940   Zanesville (Ohio) Signal 20 Feb. 6/1 (advt.)    Gee I'm sorry! But it's my bad time of the month and I'm just miserable with chafing!
1968   F. Exley Fan's Notes viii. 379   My first impression was that it was her time of the month, my first impulse to hurry her discreetly to the girls' room.
2002   R. Gervais & S. Merchant Office: Scripts 1st Ser. Episode 1. 24   Alright? What is it, time of the month?

1931—2002(Hide quotations)


 f. time of the moon: a point in the lunar cycle.

1528   tr. Aristotle De Cursione Lune xv. sig. bv   Loke thou therof take noo kepe If thou haue any thyng to done Abyde a beeter [read better] tyme of the moone.
1566   T. Blundeville Order curing Horses Dis. xxxii. f. 24v, in Fower Offices Horsemanshippe   The horse that hath this disease, is blinde at certaine tymes of the Moone.
1662   J. Chandler tr. J. B. van Helmont Oriatrike 145   The immortall minde..doth not vary through Lunatickness or Frantickness at a certain time of the Moon.
1704   J. Swift Tale of Tub iv. 97   The Operation was performed by Spargefaction in a proper Time of the Moon.
1798   J. Ebers New & Compl. Dict. German & Eng. Lang. II. 709/2   Mondäugig, lunatic, whose eyes run at certain Times of the Moon.
1885   A. Brassey In Trades 211   The right time of the moon for the ‘tigers of the sea’ [i.e. sharks] to be about.
1934   Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida) 6 Nov. 11/2   There is always a good crop at harvest time if the planting is done at the right time of the moon.
2002   Sunday Times (Perth, Austral.) (Nexis) 2 June   At a time of the moon when bottom fishing can be difficult due to rapid water movement from the big tides.

1528—2002(Hide quotations)


 g. a question of time: see Phrases 1d.


 h. In alliterative association with tide, in various senses of both words, esp. in time and tide. Frequently in or with allusion to proverbial phrases: see time and tide wait for no man at Phrases 6f.Originally apparently with the two words in distinct senses; later used almost synonymously. Cf. etymological note.

a1400  (a1325)    Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 778   He wat wel wat tim or tide þat ȝee hade eten o þis tre.
a1450   Pater Noster Richard Ermyte (Westm. Sch. 3) (1967) 40 (MED)   What tyd or tyme so þat we þis breed faile to þe soule, he waxiþ seek in synne & drawiþ to þe deeþ.
1474   in L. F. Salzman Building in Eng. (1952) 64   Thei..take theyr houres of Rest and Respit betwene the tyme and tyde as it is affore accordyng to the season of the yere that thei labor in.
c1550   R. Bieston Bayte Fortune B j   And founden wast thou fyrst in euyll time and tyde.
1581   J. Marbeck Bk. Notes & Common Places 804   For their penaunce, according to the number, manner, time and tide giuen them by their ghostly father.
1602   J. Marston Antonios Reuenge ii. iv. sig. Ev   The diuell in his good time and tide forsake thee.
1712   W. Goldwin Poet. Descr. Bristol 8   An inland Port..Where new or shatter'd Gallies safely Sleep, Till Time and Tide remand them to the Deep.
1791   R. Burns Tam o' Shanter 67   Nae man can tether time or tide.
1874   T. Hardy Far from Madding Crowd I. viii. 95   A true narrative, like time and tide, must run its course and would wait for no man.
1980   P. Grace in L. Wevers N.Z. Short Stories (1984) 4th Ser. 110   Now this strip here,..it's where we used to get our pipis, any time or tide.
2000   K. Shamsie Salt & Saffron (2001) vi. 65   Why can't we roll with it; see where time and tide take us?

a1400—2000(Hide quotations)


 (a) time after time: on many occasions, again and again, repeatedly.

?a1425   tr. Guy de Chauliac Grande Chirurgie (N.Y. Acad. Med.) f. 41   Auicen in þis case when þat þe hete is remissed commaundeþ for to distille tyme after tyme [L. vice post vicem] wiþ a poyntelle inuolued with cotone.
1584   E. Paget tr. J. Calvin Harmonie vpon Three Euangelists 626   Continually tyme after tyme hee [sc. God] sent vnto them diuerse Prophetes.
1631   W. Gouge Gods Three Arrowes iii. §6. 192   The like hath been verified time after time.
1715   in H. Pickworth Charge of Error 294   We have Time after Time commanded Henry Pickworth to make away his reflectious Book against our Holy Order.
1752   W. Goodall Adventures Capt. Greenland IV. xii. xvi. 231   Thus I was driven from my Purpose, Time after Time, and continually deluded by his treacherous Advice.
1848   A. Somerville Autobiogr. Working Man 130   There I, time after time, sat down for several hours each time, and looked across the narrow road to the window.
1881   B. Jowett tr. Thucydides Hist. Peloponnesian War I. 42   Time after time we have warned you.
1921   H. C. Witwer Rubyiat of Freshman 21   The coach..appointed me tackling dummy, insisting upon me carrying the ball the length of the field time after time.
2008   New Yorker 24 Nov. 52/2   This was someone who..was encouraged to mortgage her home, time after time, without sound lending practices.

?a1425—2008(Hide quotations)


 (b) time to time: from time to time (see Phrases 3j(a)). U.S. colloquial in later use.rare before 20th cent. In later use as a colloquial shortening of from time to time.

a1450  (c1412)    T. Hoccleve De Regimine Principum (Harl. 4866) (1897) l. 4189 (MED)   Tyme to tyme he ȝaf hem..Of his goode.
1950   S. Barker Rivers Parting vii. 103   I'm only a poor yeoman, but I put money in there, time to time, like we always did at Old Thorny.
1977   T. Babe Prayer for my Daughter ii. 49   I wanna know if she calls again, which she's been doing time to time.
2008   J. Peacock Cure for Night 64   ‘You were over at Devin's apartment when Strawberry was there?’ ‘Time to time.’

a1450—2008(Hide quotations)


 j. all the time in the world: a great deal of time; enough time, by a comfortable margin, in which to do something. Frequently in to have all the time in the world .

1840   C. H. Townshend Descriptive Tour Scotl. ii. 18   He would begin to draw a bit of rock ahead of us, and commence shading it in a sad smudgy style, as if he had all the time in the world to finish it accurately.
1887   H. W. Preston Year in Eden ii. 187   There'll be all the time in the world for that, I should say.
1923   G. S. Mason in B. C. Williams O. Henry Prize Stories of 1923 (1924) 170   Tide will be right in two hours and fifteen minutes; all the time in the world.
1952   M. Allingham Tiger in Smoke xi. 184   If you 'ad only woodened 'er, we'd have 'ad all the time in the world.
2001   Adrenalin No. 9. 148   They seemed to have all the time in the world to perfect their pipe riding or effortlessly cruise through snow-bloated trees under deep, clear blue skies—without the stress of impending exams.

1840—2001(Hide quotations)


 k. the time of one's life: see life n. Phrases 13e. the nick of time: see nick n.1 11b.

 P2. With a following adverb.
 a. time about.

 (a) Alternately; by turns. Later (now more usually) in the fuller form time and time about (cf. turn and turn about at turn n. 28b(d)). Chiefly regional in later use.The shorter form of the phrase was and remains chiefly Scottish (earliest with preceding possessive adjective; formerly also †times about).

1537   in C. Innes Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis (1845) I. 413   Sex of þe foirsaid viccaris þair tyme about ilk Satirdaye..sall syng þe foirsaid anteme.
?1590–1   J. Burel tr. Pamphilus in Poems sig. C3v   To gang and cum, and towartis you resort, Our time about, for to confer anone.
c1650   J. Spalding Memorialls Trubles Scotl. & Eng. (1850) I. 131   Becaus..diuerss of his freindis sould cum..thair tyme about, and attend his lordschipis seruice.
1756   M. Calderwood Lett. & Jrnls. (1884) xiii. 343   That a protestant emperor should be chosen time about with a popish.
1816   W. Scott Antiquary II. x. 256   Time about's fair play.
1820   Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. Mar. 664/1   Suppose now, I should give you the two stiles time and time about, like riggs of rundale on the hip of Tinwald hill.
1828   W. Carr Dial. Craven (ed. 2) (at cited word)   Times about, in turns, in rotation.
1849   Star & Banner (Gettysburg, Pa.) 28 Sept.   He and his brother Louis..had..only one coat between them, so the brothers could only go out alternately, time and time about.
1868   R. L. Stevenson Let. July in Scribner's Mag. (1899) 25 31/1   You observe that I spell Philistine time about with one and two l's.
1907   W. G. Maxwell In Malay Forests 252   The two sang against one another, time and time about.
1932   ‘L. G. Gibbon’ Sunset Song 23   The ministers from Drumlithie and Arbuthnott and Laurencekirk they came time about in the Sunday forenoons and took the service there.
1963   J. Faulkner My Brother Bill 273   In Pylon..he wrote about two men sharing, time and time about, the same woman.
1974   P. M. Fink Bits of Mountain Speech 27   They go to her church and his'n, time about.
1988   J. J. Graham & J. Tait Shetland Folk Bk. VIII. 19   Du hang dem ower da bar ida roof abün a guid fire, hint an fore time aboot ta tak up less room.

1537—1988(Hide quotations)


 (b) English regional (northern). A double traversal of a field (cf. sense A. 18c). Now rare.

1894   R. O. Heslop Northumberland Words   Time-aboot, a double journey in field work, extending from heedrig to heedrig and back again.
1905   I. Wilkinson in Eng. Dial. Dict. VI. 152/1   [N. Yorkshire] Time-about [a double journey in field-work].

1894—1905(Hide quotations)


 b. originally U.S. time and again (also time and time again, (now less commonly) times and again): repeatedly; on many occasions; very often.

1821   Jrnl. Deb. & Proc. Convent. to revise Constit. Mass. 48/2   Application was made, time and again, relative to the College.
1831   New Eng. Farmer 23 Feb. 252/3   It has been recommended, times and again, not to give horses grain unbroken on this account.
1835   Baltimore Southern Pioneer 28 Mar. 172/2   We know that this has been reported of it time and time again.
1870   W. Morris Earthly Paradise: Pt. IV 414   Time and again, he, listening to such word, Felt his heart kindle.
1873   Bradford Observer 29 Dec. 3/6   You have besought permission to see me time and time again.
1916   A. Quiller-Couch On Art of Writing ix. 179   France has helped us times and again.
1977   It May 29/2   Time and time again we have been told of the desperate need to coordinate squatting activities.
2009   C. Ackerley in W. Van Mierlo Textual Scholarship & Material Bk. 109   Time and again she had to make difficult decisions about disputed words and phrasing.

1821—2009(Hide quotations)


 c. time(s) and oft (also often) : = many a time and oft at Phrases 5a(b). Now rare.

1791   W. Taylor tr. G. E. Lessing Nathan the Wise (1805) iii. 130   And have not I too said so, times and oft.
1798   Musical Banquet 122   Time and oft, dress'd lamb fashion, I zeed an old ewe.
1808   E. Sleath Bristol Heiress III. 94   The fine handsome young officer, who has been here times and often.
1862   M. E. Braddon Lady Audley's Secret II. xiii. 303   Luke knows this, and the landlord has warned him of it times and often.
1920   S. Graham Children of Slaves 174   Premature greetings have been given time and oft to new Negro culture and responsibility.
1972   P. M. Fraser Ptolemaic Alexandria I. x. 658   A floating islet..which sailors from the Cyclades and the Saronic Gulf saw time and oft in the waters of the northern Aegean.

1791—1972(Hide quotations)


 d. Chiefly regional. time back: some (esp. a long) time ago; (also) for a long time.

1812   M. Edgeworth Absentee x, in Tales Fashionable Life II. 155   My lord Clonbrony wrote, and ordered plantations here, time back.
1845   Farmer's Mag. Aug. 140/2   The horse-rake..was very useful..; he had experienced the want of it time back.
1887   T. Darlington Folk-speech S. Cheshire   Time ago.., Time back.., some time ago.
1946   Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) 4 Apr. 16/1   O'Connell is attempting to break a jinx that has followed all fighters from time back.
2003   M. Bragg Crossing Lines (2005) xvii. 173   [He] said he knew him from time back and he was a bit of a nancy boy.

1812—2003(Hide quotations)

 e. time off.

 (a) Time away from one's work, school, regular occupation, etc., esp. for rest or recreation. Cf. off adv. 4d.

[1850   N. Brit. Rev. Aug. 360   We would counsel all public writers to think well of the best means of economizing themselves—the best means of spending their time off duty.]
1881   Hartford (Connecticut) Daily Courant 1 Sept.   Counsellor Fox..wonders how he can get so much time off from his work in New York.
1897   A. Daly tr. F. Von Schönthan Seven-twenty-eight iii. 73   I'd like to ask if I could go to the Private Coachman's ball to-night, ma'am... I never have any time off.
1914   Rotarian Dec. 55   The clerks in his store have compensation for this extra service in the form of an allowance for meals and time off later for the extra hours put in.
1954   Spectator 10 Dec. 736/2   Theorists who indulge the undemocratic vice of taking time off to think.
1977   Whitaker's Almanack 580/2   The Financial Times was not published because of a dispute between management and N.G.A. compositors over time-off.
2009   New Yorker 5 Jan. 53/2   Your salary is not taxed, you get hardship pay, time off, and a lot of your expenses are covered.

1881—2009(Hide quotations)


 (b) Time taken off the length of a prison sentence, most commonly in recognition of good behaviour. Also in extended use.

1881   Bucks County (Pa.) Gaz. 15 Sept.   The date of his commitment was October 1878, and the time off for good behavior made up the difference in the sentence.
1951   ‘J. Tey’ Daughter of Time i. 9   Benny would get time off for good behaviour.
1994   N. Parker Parkhurst Tales ix. 94   His appeal was due to be heard shortly and he was counting on getting some time off.
2009   L. Weber Sticks & Stones xii. 170   PR is operating in what is effectively a never-ending global news cycle. There's no time off for good behavior.

1881—2009(Hide quotations)

 f. time out.

 (a) originally U.S. Time forming a break from an activity, task, or occupation. Frequently (esp. in early use) in to take time out .

1892   A. S. Roe Worcester Classical & Eng. High School 58   With the exception of some time out on account of sickness, she has been constantly in the school.
1898   Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) 24 Jan. 8/5   A most important change is that in regard to the delaying of the game by taking time out.
1902   Los Angeles Times 13 May 3/5   Before she departed,..she took time out from her suffering to lay the seeds of the disaster.
1918   Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 30 June 50/2   The Peerless made the run from Fresno into Los Angeles (and there was some time out for pictures on the Ridge route) in a trifle over seven hours.
1950   Life 16 Oct. 10 (advt.)    Always the right answer—when you need time out to relax and get a fresh start!
1968   J. D. Hicks My Life with Hist. xii. 219   The purpose of this change was to enable students to pursue their studies the year around, with a minimum of time out for vacations.
2007   Church Times 5 Jan. 16/2   A quiet garden is simply somewhere beautiful where people can take time out to rest and pray.

1892—2007(Hide quotations)


 (b) Sport. Usually as two words or with hyphen. Suspension in play, accompanied by the stopping of the clock, either at the request of one team or player, or as ordered by the referee, umpire, etc., typically for rest, consultation, or making substitutions. Now chiefly in to call time out .

1896   W. Camp & L. F. Deland Football vi. 61   Time out, time taken out by the referee when play is not actually in progress.
1898   Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Sentinel 9 Oct. 6/1   In the second half the frequent calls for ‘time out’ were invariably made for the benefit of a purple player.
1906   Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide 145   Either captain may ask time out three times each half; penalty thereafter unless a player removed from game.
1925   Woman's World (Chicago) Apr. 12/2   Then the whistle blew for time out. Something had happened. The U's meteoric halfback..was hurt.
1972   J. Mosedale Football v. 61   We'd just stopped them on our one-yard line and called time-out.
2005   Charleston (W. Va.) Gaz. (Nexis) 27 Nov. p1 d   West Virginia had plenty of time to win the game and did so without calling time out to allow LSU to set its defense.

1896—2005(Hide quotations)


 (c) colloquial (originally U.S.). As an imperative, calling for a break or halt, esp. in a conversation which is becoming uncomfortable, heated, confused, etc.: ‘hold on’, ‘wait a minute’; ‘calm down’, ‘relax’.Originally with allusion or reference to a suspension of play in sporting contexts (see Phrases 2f(b)).

1906   S. Ford Shorty McCabe iii. 60   ‘Time out!’ says I, blockin' the Boss's pet upper cut. ‘Mister 'Ankins seems to have something on the place where his mind ought to be.’
1937   Boys' Life Oct. 6/2   ‘Sandy MacDonald's coming in to replace me!’ he informed. ‘Time out, please!’
1945   T. Slesinger & F. Davis Tree grows in Brooklyn (screenplay) in J. Gassner & D. Nichols Best Film Plays 1945 200/2   Hey, time out, I've had enough battlin' to last me today.
1961   N.Y. Times 12 Sept. 29/1   Time out! Stop this madness!
1988   S. Lee Do the Right Thing (film script, 2nd draft) in S. Lee & L. Jones Do the Right Thing (1989) 188   Yo! Hold up! Time out! Time out! Y'all take a chill. Ya need to cool that shit out.
2009   Times (Nexis) 22 June 19   Whoa! Time out. Let's reassess.

1906—2009(Hide quotations)

 g. time is (also was, etc.) up .

 (a) With possessive, indicating that a period of time allotted to a person (for a task, visit, activity, etc.) or to a thing has ended, or will soon end.

1651   E. Hall Lingua Testium 7   God declares to him [sc. the prophet Daniel] how long the dissipation of the Jewes shall be, which..began Anno 360. therefore their time is up about this yeare 1650. their time of dissipation being to continue 1290. years.
1694   J. Collier Misc. iii. 18   My Time is up, I must leave you.
1784   H. Cowley More Ways than One i. ii. 11   Tell her that a peerage, like the parliament, lasts but seven years, and that your time is up.
1808   Gentleman's Mag. July 592/2   Still less can I discover any reason why, soon after the Taste which presides in Bond-street has hit upon a becoming article, it should give way to one less so, merely because ‘its time is up’.
1896   Cambr. Rev. 26 Nov. 109/1   My allowed time was up.
1958   New Statesman 6 Sept. 330/2   Farewell, adieu, BM and PRO, My time is up, reluctantly I go.
1997   Daily Tel. 7 Apr. 20/3   Helmut Kohl has declared war on the conventional wisdom that after 15 years in power, his time is up.

1651—1997(Hide quotations)


 (b) Without possessive, indicating that an allotted period of time has ended or must end. Also as a warning exclamation, esp. as time's up.

a1673   T. Horton 100 Select Serm. (1679) xv. 112   If the time be up it is no matter when it is first begun.
1792   Ann. Reg. 1789 Chron. 199/2   Ryan put in the first blow on the chest of his opponent, and brought him down. When the time was up, and each were on their guard, Johnson returned the compliment.
1826   Lit. Lounger Apr. 163   Chapel bell is done tolling—time is up.
1871   G. R. Cathcart Cathcart's Youth's Speaker cxxxiii. 140   Time's up, Sly... If I catch you running over time again, I'll wallop you!
1901   R. Fitzsimmons Physical Culture 159   Time was up. The champion was out.
1980   B. Okri Flowers & Shadows vii. 58   Well, Jero, time is up. You'd better be going now.
2002   C. Williams Sugar & Slate 187   Time's up! I'm outa here.

a1673—2002(Hide quotations)

 P3. With a preceding adverb or preposition.

 a. about time:  (a) approximately the right or suitable time (for a specified event or circumstance);  (b) colloquial (originally with some irony) long past the right time; used to suggest that the event or circumstance in question should have come about much earlier, or is long overdue; frequently as a separate utterance (often with too).

1807   Caitiff of Corsica i. iv. 62   Come, now it is about time to repair to the Assembly.
1820   Providence (Rhode Island) Patriot 11 Mar. (advt.)    As it is about time you were getting your hay seeds together, it would give us pleasure to assist you in supplying you with [etc.].
1843   Knickerbocker July 35   Having pulled heartily thus far, we considered it ‘about time’ to take a small pull at the brandy-bottle.
1846   F. Trollope Robertses on their Trav. I. i. 11   ‘But never mind, with my management I dare say I shall make it do.’ ‘And about time, my dear,’ said her husband.
1856   Sporting Rev. Jan. 58   Kingstown..is only at 6 guineas. Surplice is half-price, and about time too.
a1902   F. Norris Pit (1903) i. 11   ‘At last, at last,’ she cried, ‘and about time, too!’
1940   W. Faulkner Hamlet iv. i. 285   I reckon it's about time to get dinner started.
1977   A. Clarke Let. from Dead ix. 103   ‘Now you're talking,’ said Jill, ‘and about time too.’
2009   Ireland's Eye Jan. 38/3   It's about time I gave up the stairs now—my knee is playing up.

1807—2009(Hide quotations)


 b. Chiefly regional. not afore time = not before time at Phrases 3e(b).

1899   Angler's Rec. Oct. 21/1   An' we got him out, an' not afore time, for he wa full o' watter, and he took some getting round.
2001   M. Eccles Untimely Graves x. 91   ‘Ar. Not afore time, neither.’ His voice quavered with self-pity.

1899—2001(Hide quotations)


 c. against time: in competition with the passage of time; with the aim of finishing a race, one's task, etc., as quickly as possible, or before the expiry of a certain period. Frequently in race against time. Cf. against the clock at clock n.1 4.

1759   Owen's Weekly Chron. 23 June 207/1   [He] started at Newmarket to perform a match against time, to ride fifty miles in two hours.
1790   J. Bentham Draught New Plan Organisation Judicial Establishm. France v. 18   Some men have got a name, by trying causes, as if for a wager, against time.
1838   New Sporting Mag. Mar. 155   He [sc. a skater] re-commences his exertions in an hour, and runs chiefly against time.
1854   C. Dickens Hard Times i. viii. 58   A..population of babies who had been walking against time towards the infinite world.
1872   Punch 10 Feb. 57/2   No member shall speak against time or his own convictions.
1911   Pop. Mech. June 798/1   A large force of men set to work in a race against time.
1935   ‘E. Queen’ Adventures 86   What would you gentlemen expect a thief, working against time, to do under these circumstances?
1975   Economist 1 Feb. 16   Sheikh Mujib's ‘second revolution’ last weekend was his personal answer to this race against time.
2008   C. Tiernan On Back of Other Side xxiv. 327   The writer had been working against time to record the minutes of a stormy meeting.

1759—2008(Hide quotations)


 (a) at times (formerly also †at time): at one time and another, at various times; occasionally, on occasion. Also †at times and again.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Eccles. x. 1   More precious is wisdam and litil glorie at tyme [L. ad tempus], than folie.
1485   Malory's Morte Darthur (Caxton) x. xxxviii. sig. Diiijv   Thenne he kyste her and dyd to her plesaunce as it pleased them bothe at tymes and leysers.
1529   T. More Dialogue Heresyes iii, in Wks. 245/1   Our sauiour at tyme taught his apostles a part.
1549   J. Bale in J. Leland Laboryouse Journey Pref. sig. B.i   Some they sent ouer see to ye bokebynders, not in small nombre, but at tymes whole shyppes full.
1611   Bible (King James) Judges xiii. 25   The Spirit of the Lord beganne to mooue him at times .  
1722   W. Sewel Hist. Quakers i. 13   At Times his Mind was much exercised.
1779   Mirror No. 39. ⁋9   I believe most men have, at times, wished to be..possessed of the power of moulding the world to their fancy.
1806   Med. & Physical Jrnl. 15 381   The pain in her head became so acute, as to produce at times, actions of violence.
1864   Reader 634/3   Some blacks, at times and again, hovering over a few coals.
1884   W. C. Smith Kildrostan 46   I blame myself at times.
1905   M. Moore Let. 8 Oct. (1997) 11   At times I feel quite self-possessed so things may get brighter.
1955   Sci. News Let. 19 Mar. 185/2   Patients with this disease are at times completely withdrawn from the world around them.
2010   Church Times 14 May 29/3   It would have been good to pause at times from the factual record to consider what was changing.

a1382—2010(Hide quotations)


 (b) at no time: on no occasion, never.

1393   in Collectanea Topographica & Genealogica (1836) III. 256 (MED)   We hadde neuyr non astat, riht, ne possession in the forsaid londis att no tyme.
1436   W. Paston in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 15   John Roys never at noo tyme payed..for þe dette he aught to hym.
c1475   tr. C. de Pisan Livre du Corps de Policie (Cambr.) (1977) 53   A laumpe..sholde at no tyme be lefte vnlyght.
1517   R. Fox tr. St. Benedict Rule iii. sig. B.vv   That ye be well ware euery howre what dedes ye doo in this present lyfe, that at no tyme ye fall or offende rechelesly or necligently.
1557   T. Tusser Hundreth Good Pointes Husbandrie sig. C.iiv   Pinche weannels at no time, of water nor meate.
1652   P. Heylyn Cosmographie iii. sig. Mmm   The People..able at no time to stand by themselves.
1660   R. Coke Elements Power & Subjection 162 in Justice Vindicated   At no time a Priest is worthy to celebrate Mass, who hath not received the Eucharist.
1774   O. Goldsmith Hist. Earth IV. 131   At no time are they found at any great distance from their retreats.
1861   Ld. Brougham Brit. Constit. (ed. 2) iii. 54   The French States at no time attained the regularity of the English Parliament.
1904   Windsor Mag. Jan. 226/2   At no time could we see the trawler, though we heard the click of her windlass.
1937   J. P. Marquand Late George Apley iv. 29   At no time in the history of the world have such material changes occurred as those in John Apley's life span.
2009   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 9 Aug. (Business section) 5/3   At no time does SDI ever receive any identifiable patient information.

1393—2009(Hide quotations)

 (c) at the same time.

 (i) During the same period, at the same moment, not earlier or later; simultaneously.

1445–6   Rolls of Parl.: Henry VI (Electronic ed.) Parl. Feb. 1445 §40. m. 6   That the shirref or undershirref, coroners and baillies..be there atte the same tyme in her owen person.
1598   R. Hakluyt tr. E. van Meteren in Princ. Navigations (new ed.) I. 596   At the same time the Spanish Fleete was escried by an English pinasse.
1620   N. Brent tr. P. Sarpi Hist. Councel of Trent viii. 779   Besides his treatie with Loraine..he receiued at the same time a resolution from the Emperour.
1663   G. Harvey Archelogia Philosophica Nova II. i. xxiii. 191   In many pillared round Churches a loud voice doth resonate by several Eccho's near upon at the same time.
1705   D. Defoe Rev. Affairs France II. 207/1   These Convoy by their Intelligence one and the same Report at the same time to all Parts of the World to their Sub-Agents.
1780   Mirror No. 100. ⁋4   In two of Shakespeare's tragedies are introduced, at the same time, instances of counterfeit madness, and of real distraction.
1841   E. W. Lane tr. Thousand & One Nights I. 19   A man may have 4 wives at the same time.
1937   Amer. Home Apr. 14/1 (caption)    Its glossy-leaved branches carry at the same time flowers and green and fully ripe fruit.
1990   J. Hamilton Rackham iv. 81   He had the enviable facility of being able to carry on a conversation and draw at the same time.
2010   N.Y. Rev. Bks. 11 Feb. 16/1   In 1985, in Hamburg, I played against thirty-two different chess computers at the same time.

1445–6—2010(Hide quotations)


 (ii) With clause specifying an occurrence simultaneous with another: during the same period or at the same moment as, that, when, etc.

1555   J. Wilkinson tr. L. de Avila y Cuñiga Comm. Wars in Germany sig. L.ii   The Lordes of Vlme make suche spede for to reduce themselues into the seruice of his maiesty at the same tyme that the Countye Palentine was in halle.
1571   R. Reynolds Chron. Noble Emperours f. 100   At the same time as this tribute was demaunded, Coil succeding Asclepiodorus.
1604   E. Grimeston tr. True Hist. Siege Ostend 87   At the same time when as these ships entred, fire tooke a house at the East-port.
1674   N. Fairfax Treat. Bulk & Selvedge 7   He is, at the same time the evil thing is done, as much the cause of the gainstanding good that is not done.
1746   R. James Mod. Pract. Physic II. 272   Such medicines as promote suppuration, at the same time that they prevent a putredinous corruption.
1787   T. Best Conc. Treat. Angling (ed. 2) 115   The Shorn-Fly. Comes on about the same time as the Canon-fly.
1860   Notes & Queries 8 Dec. 452/1   Frequently..the mother is churched at the same time that her infant is baptized.
1972   N.Y. Mag. 24 Apr. 40/2   Mrs. Hogan's Valium arrived at the same time I did.
1992   Sun 16 Sept. 4/5   Mr Mellor was there at the same time when the whole of the Government was working towards getting Iraq out of Kuwait.
2009   R. B. Day & D. Gaido tr. L. Trotsky in Witnesses to Permanent Revol. vii. 323   At the same time as they are fuelling social excitement, the thousands of voices from the liberal press are also attempting to steer it in narrow channels.

1555—2009(Hide quotations)


 (iii) Used in introducing a reservation, qualification, explanation, or contrasting consideration: as should also be borne in mind; while saying this; nevertheless, however, yet, still.

1679   W. Penn Addr. Protestants i. sig. Ev   Vice, the Enemy of Religion, is at the same time the Enemy of Humane Society.
1685   J. Flavell Πνευματολογια 440   Paul the Pharisee was a blameless person touching the Law, and yet at the same time,..utterly ignorant of Christ.
1702   Short Narr. Proc. against Bp. of St. A. Pref. sig. B3v   But at the same time it ought to be considered that there is a great deal of difference between Liberty and Encouragement.
1782   W. W. Grenville Let. 15 Dec. in Duke of Buckingham Mem. Court & Cabinets George III. (1853) I. 91   To state to you the difficulties..but at the same time, to say, that they were overbalanced by an absolute necessity.
1825   D. Douglas Jrnl. 1 Jan. (1914) 100   The verdure is scanty in comparison with most tropical climates..although at the same time some of the trees in the valleys are large.
1891   ‘J. S. Winter’ Lumley xv. 110   Give them my best wishes. At the same time I must say I do not envy the girl.
1926   W. R. Scott in D. T. Jones et al. Rural Scotl. during War i. 8   Naturally it is not possible to isolate the Scottish food position from that of England... At the same time it is interesting to observe [etc.].
1970   Daily Rep. (Ontario, Calif.) 25 Aug. a10/4   Avoid hasty action but at the same time remember that last-minute hasty action may well be better than no action at all.
2001   N.Y. Times 11 Nov. iv. 5/2   They are not Keystone Kops... But at the same time, they are not James Bond-smooth either.

1679—2001(Hide quotations)

 (d) at a time.

 (i) Simultaneously; on a single occasion; = at once adv. 3.

c1485  (▸1456)    G. Hay Bk. Gouernaunce of Princis (1993) xxiii. 94   Gyf jt befell yat a man walde ete mony syndry metis yat war laxatyues–at a tyme.
1539   T. Elyot Castel of Helthe (new ed.) iv. xiii. f. 87v   Vse them euery thyrde daye one pille at a tyme, thre houres or foure afore dyner or supper.
1607   E. Topsell Hist. Foure-footed Beastes 139   They [sc. bitches] bring forth many at a time sometime fiue, seuen, nine, or twelue.
1660   R. Ellsworth in Extracts State Papers (Friends' Hist. Soc.) (1911) 2nd Ser. 122   Heere they..haue their Meeteings at all Seasons..sometymes about 1000 or 1200 att a tyme.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 422. ⁋1   An utter Aversion to speaking to more than one Man at a time.
1798   T. Jefferson Let. 8 Feb. in Papers (2003) XXX. 87   He then tried..to get them sent on by fifties at a time by the stage.
1849   Sketches Nat. Hist.: Mammalia IV. 63   The field mouse breeds twice in the year, producing from six to ten young at a time.
1876   G. O. Trevelyan Life & Lett. Macaulay II. ix. 125   The publishers..are still pouring forth reprints by many thousands at a time.
1936   Notes & Queries 21 Nov. 362/1   The Skeltonic consists of short verses of two, three or four accents..rhyming in groups of anything from two to five or more lines at a time.
1976   A. J. P. Taylor Let. 5 Mar. in Lett. to Eva (1991) 290   You can become a temporary member of the London Library,..and then you can take out up to 10 books at a time.
2010   RadioUser Apr. 20/3   You can receive up to three stations at a time within any 2MHz band segment.

c1485—2010(Hide quotations)


 (ii) = at times at Phrases 3d(a). Obsolete. rare.

a1616   W. Shakespeare Othello (1623) ii. iii. 306   You, or any man liuing, may be drunke at a time man.

a1616—a1616(Hide quotations)


(e) at time: on credit; (also) on the understanding that the transaction in question will take place at a particular future time, at an agreed or specified price (cf. for time at Phrases 3i(c), Phrases 3l(b)(i)). Obsolete.

1617   R. Hughes Let. 18 Dec. in W. Foster Lett. Received East India Company (1902) VI. 236   The rest..we bought since receipt of your Worships' advice, part money (by agreement) the rest at time.
1678   J. Vernon Compl. Compting-house 213   Then must you..make the Man, or Men that sell the Goods to you at Time, credit.
1720   N.H. Compl. Tradesman xvii. 56   When you have bought any Goods at time, and afterwards you agree with the Person which sold you the Goods, to pay you your Money before it be due, with rebating or discount, then you must make the Person Debitor.
1721   N. Bailey Universal Etymol. Eng. Dict.   To Frist,..to Sell Goods at Time [1724 (ed. 2) at Time, or upon Trust].
1817   Literary Panorama Oct. 160   If they had bought at time, whether in whole or in part, they must provide cash for the due honouring of those bills which are the signs of their purchase.

1617—1817(Hide quotations)


 (f) at one's own good time : at a time of one's choosing; once one is ready; in one's (also its) own good time at Phrases 3k(d).

a1652   R. Brome Damoiselle i. ii, in Five New Playes (1653)    Dry. Ile shortly visit you. Bum. At your own good time Sir.
1836   C. G. F. Gore Mrs. Armytage I. vii. 100   Mrs. Armytage resented or relented at her own good time and pleasure.
1892   E. C. Stedman in Cent. Mag. Oct. 866   At my own good time, Will I send my answer to you.
1945   Times 12 June 5/4   Can Mr. Shannon state why in heaven or earth he should be free to return to his university at his own good time?
1997   Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) 21 May a8   They should be allowed to overcome this fear at their own good time.

a1652—1997(Hide quotations)


 (a) before his (also her, etc.) time : prematurely.

1545   T. Paynell tr. St. Bernard Compend. Treat. Well Liuynge xxii. f. lxxxiv   Luxuriousnesse..causeth man to seme olde and aged before his tyme [L. Luxuria carnem..fractam..celeriter ducit ad senectutem].
1547   A. Borde Breuiary of Helthe i. f. ix   Abhorsion..is when a woman is delyvered of her chylde before her tyme.
1635   J. Hayward tr. G. F. Biondi Donzella Desterrada 220   The good are called before their time, for ridding them out of the hands of the wicked.
1700   J. Dryden tr. G. Boccaccio Sigismonda & Guiscardo in Fables 124   In the Prime Of Youth, her Lord expir'd before his time.
1762   Ld. Kames Elements Crit. I. 389   The rate of succession may be retarded by insisting upon one object, and propelled by dismissing another before its time.
1832   E. Bulwer-Lytton Eugene Aram I. i. vi. 99   We grow old before our time.
1890   Field 31 May 799/3   The Banksia roses..are bent on coming out before their time.
1916   M. Gyte Diary 29 Dec. (1999) 112   The cow that calved before its time has not cleansed.
1980   F. Buechner Godric 58   Is the past a sea old men can founder in before their time and drown?
2005   A. Smith Accidental 186   The cleaning girl..who looked poor, who looked old before her time.

1545—2005(Hide quotations)


 (b) not before time: not soon enough, almost too late; frequently used to suggest that something is long overdue.

1837   Sc. Christian Herald 7 Oct. 632/2   [He] escaped a third time from the hands of his jailers; and not before time, for they had already begun to give him a drug.
1917   ‘J. E. Buckrose’ Gossip Shop xix. 237   ‘I'm just going, Miss Walker,’ said Unwin... ‘Oh!’ said Miss Walker, but her tone implied, ‘Not before time.’
1955   ‘N. Shute’ Requiem for Wren v. 144   She got her clothes brush from her quarters and gave him a grooming with it, not before time.
1972   Observer 16 July 13/6   It all points to a wind of change blowing in the direction of the Ordinary shares..: and not before time either.
2004   Time Out 31 Mar. 125/4   Not before time, some of London's largest nightspots are set to transform their appearance and appeal.

1837—2004(Hide quotations)

 (a) behind the time.

 (i) Late (for an appointment, etc.); behindhand (also behind one's time ). Now rare. wise behind the time: (Scottish) wise after the event.

a1658   J. Durham Clavis Cantici (1668) 130   Christ..is never behind His time, He cannot mistryst a believer.
1683   Mem. Sir J. Melvil 190   Your Majesty confessed that I had shewn you the verity, but the said confession was ay behind the time, with over late Repentance.
1717   R. Wodrow Corr. (1843) II. 319   The proverb of being wise behind the time.
1773   Morning Chron. 6 Dec.   He rested here but two hours, having strained himself, and being behind his time.
1847   G. W. M. Reynolds Parricide (new ed.) xxv. 75/1   Have you tarried long, Mr. Arnold? I find I'm a trifle behind the time.
1849   Macphail's Edinb. Eccl. Jrnl. Apr. 176   There were many of the politicians of earth prophetically wise behind the time, ready to tell us that those fears were groundless.
1876   G. Meredith Beauchamp's Career II. iv. 56   The ‘three days’ granted him by Renée were over, and it scarcely troubled him that he should be behind the time.
1920   Overland Monthly Aug. 66/1   Billy..was purposely ten minutes behind the time, but to his disgust found the procession not yet started.

a1658—1920(Hide quotations)

1833   Gardener's Mag. Dec. 686   The work is behind the time. By abbreviations and signs that could be recognised at first sight, it would be possible to express what is expressed in half the space.
1846   C. Dickens Dombey & Son (1848) ix. 87   I'm old-fashioned, and behind the time.
1921   Shoe Workers' Jrnl. Feb. 8/2   Anybody in business who allows his affairs to reach the labor strike stage..is—behind the time.
1991   V. Henley Dragon & Jewel xxxiv. 347   You are behind the time. We have a new Pope in Rome.
2001   Daily Deal (N.Y.) (Nexis) 21 Aug.   This work..is two years behind the time. It is an artifact of an era of blind faith in technology.

1833—2001(Hide quotations)


 (b) behind the times: lacking an awareness of current (esp. the most recent) ideas, methods, etc.; out of date (sometimes preceded by an expression of length of time, indicating the extent to which this is the case).

1826   J. M. Good Bk. Nature III. 85   I may, perhaps,..be told that I am at least half a century behind the times.
1886   Graphic 20 Nov. 547/3   The Turquie, a daily paper, written in French, of some official inspiration, but very behind the times.
1921   E. O'Neill Diff'rent ii, in Emperor Jones 244   You needn't think we're all so behind the times..here just because you've been to France and all over.
1982   Black Belt Dec. 6/3   I feel that this study is about ten years behind the times.
2008   Independent 18 Apr. 17/3   If your website doesn't let your audience contribute then you're way behind the times.

1826—2008(Hide quotations)

1839   Proc. Central Criminal Court 17 June 225   I do not know when I heard it—it was in between times, but I cannot recollect when it was.
1887   E. Custer Tenting on Plains vi. 195   Our devoted surgeon..was untiring in his patience in coming when I sent for him in-between-times.
1902   E. Banks Autobiogr. Newspaper Girl 159   She served me faithfully till the very last, packing her humble belongings in between times.
1966   N. Gordimer Late Bourgeois World 14   He's allowed out only twice a month, on Sundays, and the school discourages visits from parents in between times.
2002   C. M. Byron Martha Inc. viii. 115   She'd been married three times, and in between times had been romantically linked with a range of celebs.

1839—2002(Hide quotations)


 (a) by the time (that) —— : when the time of the specified event or circumstance has arrived.

?1509–10   Lamentacyon Our Lady sig. a.iv   By the tyme that I came to the mount of caluary the wycked Iewes had done my sone vpon the crosse.
1531   T. Elyot Bk. named Gouernour sig. F   By the time that the childe do com to .xvij. yeres of age..hit were nedefull to rede vnto hym some warkes of philosophie.
1553   J. Brende tr. Q. Curtius Rufus Hist. iii. f. 26   By the time he had made these exhortacions they were come within throwe of their dartes.
1656   Ld. Orrery Parthenissa V. iv. 246   By the time we came to mingle, we out-winged their Left Flank.
1756   M. Calderwood Lett. & Jrnls. (1884) vii. 184   By the time we arrived, my head was like to split with perfect fear.
1805   T. Holcroft Mem. Bryan Perdue III. ii. 15   How sophisticated is the brain of man by the time that he becomes an adult!
1873   M. E. Braddon Strangers & Pilgrims ii. iii. 178   There are the men who go off their nuts by the time they're worth a million or so.
1933   P. Godfrey Back-stage vi. 82   By the time that the principals are rehearsing regularly again the company are working without their books.
2008   Daily Tel. 28 Feb. 16/5   By the time a snake handler from a nearby zoo arrived, the dog had been all but swallowed.

?1509–10—2008(Hide quotations)


(b) Scottish. by a time: at times, occasionally. Obsolete.

1721   J. Kelly Compl. Coll. Scotish Prov. 26   A Horse with four Feet may snapper, by a time.
1822   C. Lamb in London Mag. Aug. 155/1   Aye, aye, goodwife,..the wisest and most devout can remember by a time the joys of their youth.
1888   G. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 107   A man's nocht the waur bein' fou by a time.

1721—1888(Hide quotations)


 (a) for the time (formerly also †for time): = for the time being at be v. Phrases 1b. Now rare.

c1390  (?c1350)    St. Bernard l. 325 in C. Horstmann Sammlung Altengl. Legenden (1878) 46 (MED)   A slepyng mon to men is tolde As good as ded for þe tyme.
1415   in R. W. Chambers & M. Daunt Bk. London Eng. (1931) 233   Wee the forseid Water & William, beyng vewers for the tyme of the seid Cite.
1463–5   Rolls of Parl.: Edward IV (Electronic ed.) Parl. Apr. 1463 §27. m. 10   Any persone or persones for tyme dwellyng..within the same chapell.
c1475  (?a1440)    B. Burgh Distichs of Cato (Rawl. C.48) l. 443 in Archiv f. das Studium der Neueren Sprachen (1905) 115 314 (MED)   Thouh wikkydnesse for tyme [1476 Caxton for the tyme] be kept secre, Yitt att the laste will it discurid be.
1547   Bp. S. Gardiner Let. 30 Aug. (1933) 277   I kepe my wont to write to your Grace now, in whose hands I know the estate of the realm to be fortime in government.
1580   T. Cooper Briefe Homily Lords Supper sig. B.iv   Immediately after Supper, they through timerousnes fled from Christ, & for the time forsoke him.
1627   P. Hay Advt. Subj. Scotl. 127   The French King..having received some Appellations and Complayntes from those of Guyen, beeing for the tyme Subjects to the King of England.
1696   Constit. agreed Comm. Company of Scotl. trading Afr. & Indies (single sheet)    The Major Part of the Council General or Court of Directors in being for the Time, shall always be a Quorum.
1753   S. Richardson Hist. Sir Charles Grandison VI. xxxii. 216   These ideal vagaries, which, for the time, realize pain or pleasure to us.
1788   T. Jefferson Writings (1859) II. 495   The consul's presence in his port should suspend, for the time, the functions of the vice-consul.
1891   Athenæum 3 Jan. 20/1   For the time the question must be considered shelved, but the change must soon come.
1965   P. Hunt Gift of Unicorn 38   If it were allowed, one would say he was trying to get at the soul of the immediate apple. They are, for the time, wholly his apples.

c1390—1965(Hide quotations)

 (b) for all time.

 (i) In perpetuity; for eternity; for ever.

a1450  (a1397)    Prol. Old Test. (Harl. 1666) in Bible (Wycliffite, L.V.) (1850) xii. 47   Ofte suche noumbris ben sett for al tyme, as this that Dauith seith, [etc.].
1653   J. Rogers Ohel or Beth-Shemesh ii. vii. 457   There may be such a Covenant..with this Caution, that it be allowed only as a thing prudentiall, for a time..and not as a thing necessary for all time, or as without alteration or cessation.
1805   Goshen (Indiana) Weekly news 5 Jan. (advt.)    A temple of art. Not for a day but for all time.
1871   N. P. Langford in N.Y. Tribune 28 Jan.   This new field of Wonders [sc. the Yellowstone Park] should be at once..set apart as a public National Park for the enjoyment of the American people for all time.
1966   H. Davies New London Spy (1967) 284   Their faith is fixed for all time, and any scientific discoveries which may conflict with their creed are treated as passing aberrations.
2007   J. E. Vincent J. Ashbery & You i. 26   Apparently poems are best preserved for all time in anthologies, where they..represent an author or a period in an author's life.

a1450—2007(Hide quotations)


 (ii) for all time coming (also to come, future) and variants: for an indefinite, continuous period from this time on; henceforth. from now on.

1616   H. Ainsworth Annot. First Bk. Moses, called Genesis sig. Z   To day, is for the time present, Psal. 95. 7. and to morrow for al time to come, Gen. 30 33.
1681   New Prognostication for Year of our Blessed Lord 1681 sig. A6v   At Linton in Tweddal..a weekly market every wednesday for all time coming.
1772   Polit. Reg. Feb. 105   It is utterly absurd to establish a permanent board for all time future, for the occasional purpose of settling an arrear incurred in time past.
1838   Monthly Rev. Aug. 559   The fashion of the day and for all time coming we hope, is to study what is the speediest and most economical rate by which to circulate..the merchandise of the land.
1877   H. V. Poor Money & its Laws 8   Acquisitions could be treasured up, and made to bear fruit for all coming time.
1889   Elkhart (Indiana) Sentinel 29 Aug. 1/6   To those who lost or imperilled their lives in the great struggle.., the world, for all time to come, owes a debt of gratitude.
1965   Daily Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) 2 Jan. 16/1   The abolition of slavery by constitutional provision settles the fate, for all coming time, not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come.
1997   N.Y. Rev. Bks. 12 June 10/2   I had myself for all time to come dammed and copper-lined the turbulent bank-caving river of my life.

1616—1997(Hide quotations)

 (c) for time.

 (i) On credit. Cf. Phrases 3d(e), Phrases 3l(b)(i). Obsolete.

1572   T. Wilson Disc. Vsurye f. 122   If merchaunts would deale plainely, and simply gayne without seking further aduauntage, and sellyng for tyme as they could presently.
1590   W. Burton Serm. Norwich sig. Gv   He is in money, in wares, in buying and selling for readie money, for time.
1623   W. Painter Chaucer New Painted sig. C6v   Buy not for time those wares that are too deare.
1676   G. Carew Fraud & Oppress. Detected & Arraigned 16   Severall Goods of the Company were sold for time in the moneth of December 1636.
1707   S. Clement Vindic. Bank of Eng. 82   He that buys Goods for Time, must consequently pay the dearer for them.
1765   T. Dilworth Synopsis Merchants Accompts 3, in Young Book-keeper's Assistant sig. U   Case 29. When I buy Goods for present Mony... Case 30. When I buy Goods for Time, i.e. on Trust.

1572—1765(Hide quotations)


 (ii) Stock Market. Of a bargain, etc.: on the understanding that the goods or stocks in question will be sold or purchased at a particular future time. Frequently in bargain for time (cf. time bargain n.). Similarly for new time (with reference to bargains of this kind made near the close of an accounting period, which by agreement do not have to be settled until the next period; cf. new-time adj. (b) at new adj. and n. Compounds 1a(b)).

1721   E. Budgell Let. Friend in Country 27   Gentlemen were forced to draw upon their Bankers, to pay the excessive Differences of their Bargains for Time.
1732   True & Faithful Narr. in J. Swift Misc. III. ii. 271   There were many who call'd themselves Christians, who offer'd to buy for time.
1776   J. O. Justamond tr. G. T. F. Raynal Philos. Hist. Europeans in Indies I. ii. 205   To declare all bargains of sale for time null and void, unless it appears..that the seller was a proprietor at the time the bargain was made.
1813   Beawes's Lex Mercatoria (ed. 6) I. 620   The commissions..to brokers to buy and sell stocks for time.
1849   J. Francis Chron. & Char. Stock Exchange 187   As a dealer in the funds for time he was well known.
1902   W. D. Callaway Stockbrokers' Accts. ii. 7   Those [bargains] up to one o'clock on the first Contango day being for the settlement then entered upon, those subsequent to that hour being for the next account, or, as more commonly stated, ‘for new time’.
1955   P. Sraffa in D. Ricardo Wks. & Corr. X. 69   Bargains were made both for cash and for time... Transactions for time were by far the most important.
1984   Times 4 Aug. 23/2   Some investors were buying for new time yesterday on talk of a bid before the end of the account.

1721—1984(Hide quotations)

 j. from time to (formerly †unto) time .

 (a) At intervals; now and again, occasionally.In quot. a1425, †at stated times, at definite intervals (obsolete).

1423   in H. Nicolas Proc. & Ordinances Privy Council (1834) III. 88 (MED)   Ye desire to be acertained fro tyme to tyme of oure prosperite and welfare.
a1425  (c1384)    Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Corpus Oxf.) (1850) Ezek. iv. 11   Fro tyme vn to tyme [L.V. fro tyme til to tyme; L. a tempore usque ad tempus] thou shalt drynke it.
a1500  (▸1428)    in C. Monro Lett. Margaret of Anjou (1863) 38 (MED)   To write forth unto us and certiffie us, from tyme to tyme, of all suche tidings as that ye shall have.
1524   T. Wolsey in State Papers Henry VIII (1836) IV. 139   [They] may and shal do grete stede in advertising the Kinges Grace from tyme to tyme..of the procedinges.
a1582   W. Bourne Inuentions or Deuises (?1590) lxxvi. 62   You may send letters, and receiue letters of your friends from time vnto time.
1648   Designes Un-masqued 6   Their forces, as well as ours, were from time to time paide.
1718   J. Quincy Pharmacopœia Officinalis 362/1   Let them stand a week or two, stirring the ingredients from time to time.
1790   H. L. Piozzi Diary 18 Mar. in Thraliana (1942) II. ii. 762   The Lady seems Lovesome, & I fancy lends him money from Time to Time.
1809   R. Adam Relig. World Displayed III. 162   The Reformed Presbytery, from time to time, received small accessions to the number of both their ministers and people.
1891   Law Rep.: Weekly Notes 18 July 136/1   The passage..was used only from time to time, and not continuously.
1902   M. Cholmondeley Moth & Rust 33   She hid her convulsed face in her hands, and shuddered violently from time to time.
1959   A. Beaumont Dis. Farm Crops iii. 37   This unusual type of disease is seen from time to time on wheat and on grasses.
2009   Daily Tel. 6 Oct. 6/8   All he did was sigh sadly from time to time.

1423—2009(Hide quotations)


(b) At all times; continuously, or for an extended period; in an unbroken succession. Obsolete.

a1500   tr. A. Chartier Traité de l'Esperance (Rawl.) (1974) 52 (MED)   His correccions noyeth you as sone as ye fele any touche of them, and yet He suffrith from tyme to tyme or He punyce your defaultis.
1553   T. Wilson Arte of Rhetorique 14   Heaven is theirs, saieth David, that doe justly from tyme to tyme.
1586   T. Bowes tr. P. de la Primaudaye French Acad. I. 550   Therefore nothing was more esteemed from time to time among the auncients, than the institution of youth, which Plato calleth Discipline.
1615   E. Grimeston tr. P. d'Avity Estates 1195   It was held for certain that the institution comes from the Apostles, who ordained seuen Deacons, the which haue continued from time to time.
a1679   M. Poole Annot. Holy Bible (1683) I. sig. 5D2/2   I will therefore wait on God,..and will continue waiting from time to time, until my change come.

a1500—a1679(Hide quotations)

 (a) in time.

(i) At a suitable time; seasonably, in season. Sometimes opposed to out of time (see out of time adv. 1a). Obsolete.

[lOE   Canterbury Psalter i. 3   Quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo et folium eius non decidet : þet his wæstm uel blæd sceal giuan on his timan & his læf ne sceal tofallan.]
a1325  (c1250)    Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 1128   Men seið ðe treen..Waxen in time and brimen.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Psalms ciii. 27   Alle thingus of thee abijden, that thou ȝiue to them mete in tyme [L. in tempore].
c1400  (c1378)    W. Langland Piers Plowman (Laud 581) (1869) B. ix. l. 184   Whan ȝe haue wyued, bewar and worcheth in tyme; Nouȝt as Adam & Eue whan caym was engendred.
c1425   J. Lydgate Troyyes Bk. (Augustus A.iv) ii. l. 1240 (MED)   For in differryng is ofte gret damage, To werke in tyme is double avauntage.
c1440   S. Scrope tr. C. de Pisan Epist. of Othea (St. John's Cambr.) (1970) 43   Haunte thou the temple and wurschip in tyme The goddes of heuene.
1567   T. Drant tr. Horace Pistles in tr. Horace Arte of Poetrie sig. Ev   I that in time, and out of time Karoust it without measure.
1583   P. Stubbes Second Pt. Anat. Abuses sig. L2v   The worde of God is to be preached night and day, in time, and out of time, in season, and out of season.
1696   L. Meriton Pecuniæ obediunt Omnia xxix. 21   Things done in time or out of time all's one, Or if not done at all, she [sc. money] can Attone.

a1325—1696(Hide quotations)


 (ii) Soon or early enough, not too late. Frequently with for or infinitive.

[OE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Tiber. B.i) anno 1011   Ealle þas ungesælða us gelumpon þuruh unrædas þæt man nolde him a timan gafol beodon oþþe wið gefeohtan.]
a1450   Late Middle Eng. Treat. on Horses (1978) 101 (MED)   But þat hors be holpe in tyme, þat mangew wol turne in-to a foule schabbe.
?1463   R. Cutler in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) II. 259   For cause ȝe were so laches and cam not in tyme þe mater ȝede a-mys.
1553   J. Brende tr. Q. Curtius Rufus Hist. x. f. 221v   Perdicas, whose ambicious mynde desirous of innouation, was (he sayde) to be preuented in time.
1572   in J. G. Dalyell Scotish Poems 16th Cent. (1801) II. 247   The prouerb is, of palice, kirk, and brig, Better in tyme to beit, nor efter to big.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Macbeth (1623) ii. iii. 5   Come in time, haue Napkins enow about you.  
1671   J. Milton Paradise Regain'd iii. 397   And just in time thou com'st to have a view Of his great power; for now  
1738   tr. G. Plantavit de la Pause Life James Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick 78   Knowing..that he would still be in time for the campaign in Flanders, if Marshal Luxembourg..should make any enterprize this year.
1765   W. Gordon Universal Accountant II. 4   Whoever buys goods on time..must force a sale abroad, that he may have returns in time to answer it.
1787   A. Young Jrnl. 28 June in Trav. France (1792) i. 25   We return in time to dress for dinner, at half after twelve or one.
1834   Picture of Liverpool 73   Letters put into any of the Receiving Houses before twelve o'clock will be in time for the early mails.
1886   Science 7 May 422/2   If we can vaccinate in time, we may abort an attack of small-pox which would otherwise occur.
1912   Eng. Hist. Rev. Jan. 44   Mansel soon returned..in time to assume the custody of the seal in September 1238.
1986   R. B. Morrison & C. R. Wilson Native Peoples vi. 113   They headed back north in time for caribou hunting season.
2002   M. Thebo Saint who loved Me ix. 126   Peter starts to spit and catches himself in time.

a1450—2002(Hide quotations)


 (iii) In the course of time; sooner or later.

a1500   tr. Thomas à Kempis De Imitatione Christi (Trin. Dublin) (1893) 104 (MED)   Consolacion shal come to þe in tyme [L. in tempore suo].
?1553–77   Life Fisher (Harl. 6382) (1921) 41   Lest some cavillacion might in time arise about this matter.
1594   Willobie his Auisa xlvii. f. 43   I thinke in tyme she may be wonne.
1612   B. Jonson Alchemist i. iii. sig. C3v   This fellow, Captayne, Will come, in time, to be a great Distiller.  
1656   Earl of Monmouth tr. T. Boccalini Ragguagli di Parnasso i. xxiii. 37   Potent men..would certainly in time work their revenge.
1728   J. Gay Beggar's Opera ii. iv. 23   Strong waters will in time ruin your Constitution.
1786   R. Cumberland Observer II. xxxix. 96   [They] were so constantly employed in repeating Homer's poems preferably to all others, that in time they were universally called Homerists.
1818   W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian iv, in Tales of my Landlord 2nd Ser. II. 85   The inner turnkey's office to begin wi', and the captainship in time.
1859   Harper's Mag. Feb. 332/2   Rosario..will probably in time become the great emporium of the eleven provinces west of the Prana.
1885   W. S. Gilbert Mikado ii. 43   He would have loved me in time. I am an acquired taste.
1927   B. Russell Outl. Philos. iii. 44   Perhaps in time the State will perform these experiments with the children of political prisoners.
1989   G. Daly Pre-Raphaelites in Love vi. 301   A wise old satyr..assures her that she will in time forget her pain.
2004   Sugar Nov. 120/2   Although they [sc. stretch marks] never completely disappear, they will fade in time.

a1500—2004(Hide quotations)


 (iv) In the correct rhythm or metre; rhythmically; so as to synchronize to (also with with).

a1626   L. Andrewes XCVI Serm. (1629) 122   That Religion is Christian Religion: None sings this Hymne in time, in true note, but it; all other are out.
1654   E. Gayton Pleasant Notes Don Quixot iv. v. 199   Their great Teachers of the City Sweare, that in time they'l sing the dity.
1732   H. Baker & J. Miller tr. Molière Conceited Ladies xii. 77 in Sel. Comedies III   Play in time, Fidlers, in time.—O what ignorant Wretches! there's no dancing with 'em.
1735   K. Tomlinson Art of Dancing xii. 137   It matters not whether it breaks off upon the End of the first Strain of the Tune, the second, or in the Middle of either of them, provided it be in Time to the Music.
1819   W. Scott Ivanhoe II. iii. 45   Balancing his expanded palms, he gently flourished them in time to the music.
1841   G. Catlin Lett. N. Amer. Indians I. viii. 55   [He] commenced singing in time with the taps of the drum.
1893   R. L. Stevenson Catriona i. 4   A..brisk tramp of feet in time and clash of steel.
1947   ‘A. P. Gaskell’ Big Game 95   Their hands fluttered delicately, moving easily and clapping exactly in time.
1976   Globe & Mail (Toronto) 15 Oct. 17/4   I saw him patting his hand on his knee in time to the music along with everyone else.
2000   Wasafiri Autumn 29/1   Arm over arm they sang in time with the song of the trawlermen of Holleme Bay.

a1626—2000(Hide quotations)


 (v) U.S. regional (chiefly New England). Used to intensify an interrogative word or phrase, as what (why, etc.) in time? : what (etc.) in the world?, what (etc.) on earth? Cf. world n. Phrases 4b.Possibly a euphemism: cf. what (also who, why, how, etc.) the (also in) hell at hell n. and int. Phrases 4d.

1844   C. Bailey Reclaimed Student i. 4   David Marston, what in time are you about? Why do n't you answer me?
1849   J. T. Fields Let. 28 Feb. in R. W. Griswold Passages from Corr. (1898) 250   Why in Time don't you come our way and see the boys?
1938   Boys' Life Feb. 48/1   How in time did you know it was Jalmer an' not Treat?
a1969   ‘D. Langley’ Swamp Angel (1982) xviii. 161   Why in time don't you put some wood on that there fire?

1844—a1969(Hide quotations)

 (b) in good time.

 (i) At the right moment; at a fortunate or opportune moment; luckily. Obsolete.

c1325  (c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) l. 7254   Þat was mold þe gode quene þat in gode time was ybore.
c1390   in F. J. Furnivall Minor Poems Vernon MS (1901) ii. 543 (MED)   In good tyme he was boren, I-wis, Þat preisable is and not preised is.
c1503   R. Arnold Chron. f. lviv/2   Blessed bee thoos pepul and yn good tyme borne that ressayveth thes graces & wel kepith them.
?1569   T. Underdowne tr. Heliodorus Æthiopian Hist. x. f. 142   Hidaspes..takinge him by the right hande, saide: My Sonne you come in good time.
1592   A. Day 2nd Pt. Eng. Secretorie sig. K2, in Eng. Secretorie (rev. ed.)    If it please you then to returne by him those parcels.., they will now come in very good time.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) ii. ii. 65   Learne to iest in good time, there's a time for all things.  
1639   S. Du Verger tr. J.-P. Camus Admirable Events 7   This came in good time to keepe this poore family from necessity.

c1325—1639(Hide quotations)


 (ii) Soon, early; promptly; quickly, expeditiously. In early use also †in hasty time.

a1440   Let. in Eng. Hist. Rev. (1940) 55 643 (MED)   The whiche mees for defaute of reparacion is full ruynus..in ffull short tyme but iff hit be repareld & amendud in hasty tyme.
a1450  (c1410)    H. Lovelich Merlin (1913) II. l. 9985   Forth on his message he gan to gon, And dyde his message al in good tyme.
a1500  (▸1446)    Nightingale in O. Glauning Minor Poems J. Lydgate (1900) 4   But, doun descendyng, she sayde in hasti tyme: ‘My lyfe be kynde endure shall not longe’.
1567   W. Painter Palace of Pleasure II. xxv. sig. PPy.ii   Pietro..made therin such expedition, as he arriued in good tyme to Verona, taking order for all thinges that were commaunded him.
1585   T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie ii. xxii. 60   [They] come home againe in good time without the knowledge..of their husbands.
1694   W. Penn Acct. Travails Holland & Germany 281   The day following we took our journey for London, came there in good time that Evening.
1710   W. Nicolson London Diaries 8 Dec. (1985) 520   To London, 28 miles, in good time..supper over at my brother's.
1756   W. Toldervy Hist. Two Orphans III. 12   Our company reassumed their march; and..arrived in good time.
1806   W. Cruise Digest Laws Eng. Real Prop. VI. 257   So that my executrix shall pay in good time all lawful debts.
1872   Punch 19 Oct. 158/1   My aunt wants to be back in good time.
1928   D. H. Lawrence Lady Chatterley's Lover xvi. 286   Hilda arrived in good time on Thursday morning, in a nimble two-seater car.
1966   U. Schwarz & L. Hadik Strategic Terminol. 130   To prevent the enemy from making gains..he might make without resorting to war if not forcibly opposed in good time.
2000   A. Sayle Barcelona Plates 31   Indicating left and sliding gently into the inside lane in good time Alice turned her little red car..off the hurtling traffic of the southbound M1 motorway.

a1440—2000(Hide quotations)


 (iii) Used as an interjection or rhetorical question, expressing surprise or implicitly requesting confirmation of what has just been said: really?, indeed? In later use more commonly used ironically to express scepticism, disbelief, or ridicule: to be sure!, indeed!, forsooth! Obsolete.

a1470   T. Malory Morte Darthur (Winch. Coll. 13) (1990) III. 1146   ‘His name ys sir Urre of the Mounte.’ ‘In good tyme’, seyde the kynge.
1529   T. More Dyaloge Dyuers Maters v. f. xiv/2   Nay syr sayd he..I rehersyd you what I haue hard som other saye. In good tyme q[uod] I.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Tempest (1623) ii. i. 100   Sowing the kernels of it [sc. an island]..bring forth more Islands... Why in good time.
1650   T. Fuller Pisgah-sight of Palestine ii. vi. 149   There..even at this day, are shewed the ruines of those three tabernacles built according to Peters desire. In very good time no doubt.
1665   R. Howard Committee ii, in Four New Plays 87   Abel. When the weather is not good, we hold a fast. Arb. And then it alters. Abel. Assuredly. Arb. In good time.
1789   H. L. Piozzi Observ. Journey France II. 50   Bonducci..calls him emulous of Milton, in good time!
1819   H. L. Piozzi Let. June in Piozzi Lett. (2002) VI. 283   [He] begs my good Wishes now he is grown a Man—in good Time!

a1470—1819(Hide quotations)


 (iv) When the proper or appropriate time has arrived; after the lapse of a suitable period of time; in due course. Frequently in all in good time.

1602   W. Burton 10 Serm. iv. 47   We are comming: all in good time: the Sermon is not begunne yet.
1621   T. W. tr. S. Goulart Wise Vieillard vi. 43   The wise old man..thanketh the Ancient of dayes, who in good time will crowne him with the gifts of a better life in his celestiall Palace.
1698   T. Gipps Remarks on Remarks ii. 26   They who would excuse the Jews for Corrupting the Seventy only, and not the Hebrew, in good time will defend the Corrupting the English Version only, and not the Original Greek.
1730   J. Wesley Let. 12 Dec. (1931) I. 67   He will in His good time ‘quell the raging of this sea’.
1749   J. Cleland Mem. Woman of Pleasure II. 235   For respects I should in good time acquaint him with.
a1816   R. B. Sheridan School for Scandal (rev. ed.) iv. i, in Wks. (1821) II. 96   I shall be rich and splenetic, all in good time.
1883   J. Gilmour Among Mongols xvii. 206   Every true-hearted follower shall, in good time, arrive at the desired goal.
1931   A. Christie Sittaford Myst. vi. 51   ‘All in good time,’ said Narracott to himself. ‘Now isn't the moment to rub him up the wrong way.’
1986   E. W. Whittaker Mainland Haole v. 193   No doubt, in good time, other Hawaiis will emerge to join those already created.
2004   J. Winspear Maisie Dobbs (2005) i. 4   Clearly there were some things that needed to be changed, but all in good time.

1602—2004(Hide quotations)


(c) in times: on various occasions; = at times at Phrases 3d(a). Obsolete. in times ——, in times —— : at one time ——, at another ——; sometimes (one thing), sometimes (another).

a1500  (▸1422)    J. Yonge tr. Secreta Secret. (Rawl.) (1898) 181   He that is a gouernoure in tymes he shall Spare, and in tymes vengeaunse take.
1612   Accts. St. John's Hosp., Canterbury (Canterbury Cathedral Archives: CCA-U13/5)   Payd vnto Thomas Williames in times in consederation of a challing of sartayn tythe wood.
1615   P. Gordon Penardo & Laissa xvii. sig. Qii   And thither oft in tyms he did resort To thrall me chaste desire vnto his will.

a1500—1615(Hide quotations)


 (d) in one's (also its) own good time : at one's own pace, at a pace or time that cannot be affected by outside influence; unhurriedly; at one's own good time at Phrases 3d(f).In early use with reference to a time preordained by God.

1607   W. Cowper Jacobs Wrestling (new ed.) sig. F5v   The Lord shewes thee his mercifull face, being assured, that he who hath giuen thee an earnest pennie, will in his owne good time, giue thee the principall summe.
1639   W. Laud Relation Conf. Lawd & Fisher 388   The Blessed Meeting of Truth and Peace in his Church,..which God, in his own good time, will (I hope) effect.
1722   S. Grainger Imposition of Inoculation 5   God in his own good time will either Remove, or mitigate the punishment.
1773   R. Graves Spiritual Quixote I. ii. x. 89   He did not doubt but God would bring every thing about in his own good time.
1843   C. Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ix. 97   He..felt that the means of escape might possibly present themselves in their own good time, but that to anticipate them was hopeless.
1879   H. James Confidence I. iv. 71   Miss Vivian, in her own good time, would doubtless mention to Gordon the little incident of Siena.
1938   Internat. Affairs 17 321   The English-speaking North Americans are old-fashioned enough and naïve enough to be going to fight for democracy in their own good time.
1992   Times Higher Educ. Suppl. 27 Mar. 19/5   The advent of high speed still photography..permitted human beings..to examine complicated temporal phenomena not in real time, but in their own good time—in leisurely, methodical backtracking analysis.
2004   S. Hall Electric Michelangelo 330   Everything about her manner informed him that she would go in her own good time and not a moment before.

1607—2004(Hide quotations)


 (a) on a time: on one occasion, once; = once upon a time at once adv. 2b. Now archaic and literary.

c1225  (?c1200)    St. Katherine (Royal) (1981) 2   Constantin ant Maxence weren on ane time [c1225 Bodl. on a time] as in keiseres stude hehest irome.
c1330  (?c1300)    Speculum Guy (Auch.) (1898) l. 31 (MED)   A tale i wole ȝou telle Off an eorl..Gy of Warwyk was his name, Hou on a time he stod in þouht.
c1400   Prickynge of Love (Harl.) (1983) 9   On a time, as i entrid in him [sc. Christ] with myn eȝen opened, me thouȝte þat myn yȝen were filled ful of his blod.
a1470   T. Malory Morte Darthur (Winch. Coll. 13) (1990) I. 61   So hit befelle on a tyme whan kyng Arthure was at London.
1542   N. Udall tr. Erasmus Apophthegmes f. 127   On a tyme Diogenes made al his dyner with Oliues onely.
1596   E. Spenser Second Pt. Faerie Queene iv. ii. sig. B4v   On a time as they together way'd, He made him open chalenge, and thus boldly sayd.  
1657   N. Billingsley Brachy-martyrologia xxv. 86   He on a time (at his own Table sate) Boasted his diligence t'eradicate Heret'cal weeds.
1720   A. Pennecuik Streams from Helicon (ed. 2) i. 85   The Trees went forth on a Time to anoint a King over them.
1766   H. Brooke Fool of Quality I. ii. 58   In that river, on a time, there lived three silver trouts.
1819   Times 23 Aug. 3/3   The astonished Supernals who are celebrated as having been on a time hurled from the mansions of bliss.
1832   J. F. Cooper Heidenmauer II. x. 132   These monks are close calculators, and on a time are said to have outwitted Lucifer.
1932   T. E. Lawrence tr. Homer Odyssey xvii   On a time the young fellows used to take him out to course the wild goats, the deer, the hares.
1984   S. Brust To reign in Hell vii. 112   It hath been said that thou and she were..close, on a time.

c1225—1984(Hide quotations)

 (b) on time.

 (i) On credit. Now chiefly North American.In early use sometimes spec. with reference to agreements to buy or sell goods at a particular future time, at an agreed or specified price; cf. Phrases 3i(c)(ii).

1628   R. Hayman Quodlibets i. 2 (title of poem)    Borrowing on Time, is worse then Bird-lime. As Fowlers vse to take their Fowle with Lime: So Vsurers take borrowing Fooles with Time.
1765   W. Gordon Universal Accountant II. 4   Whoever buys goods on time, must lay his account to purchase dearer than the common interest of a ready-money price; and, to preserve his credit, must force a sale abroad, that he may have returns in time to answer it.
1806   Parl. Deb. 1st Ser. 7 1246   India Bonds, Bills of Exchange, and goods bought on time.
1837   Herald (N.Y.) 2 Feb. 2/3   Go in to Wall street. Hire the corner of an office... Buy and sell stocks on time.
1858   H. Fuller Belle Brittan on Tour 226   He..stocks his new store with $100,000 of merchandise bought ‘on time’.
1925   Sat. Evening Post 10 Oct. 133/1   It's like peddling lots on time, instead of selling and developing acreage.
1972   J. M. Minifie Homesteader vi. 44   Everything was bought ‘on time’, hardly any transactions involved cash.
2010   J. McGarry Ocean State 148   He bought it on time, paying a quarter now and thrice more over a five-week interval.

1628—2010(Hide quotations)


 (1) originally U.S. colloquial. Not later than the specified or required time; punctually, promptly; in time (see Phrases 3k(a)(ii)). Also in predicative use: punctual, prompt.

1854   N.-Y. Daily Times 6 Dec. 8/4   The trains..kept the track clear [of snow], by which means they ran regularly, and arrived on time.
1865   O. C. Dickerson Dragon of Enchanted Valley i. i. 9   The cars for once were exactly on time.
1878   H. B. Stowe Poganuc People xxiii. 209   His wife had always been on time, and on duty.
1890   ‘R. Boldrewood’ Miner's Right III. xliii. 276   Anxiety about being ‘on time’ for the mid-day stage.
1904   Daily Chron. 5 Feb. 3/4   An Americanism here and there out of place (as..when the native dwarf, Cerberus..speaks of his mistress as being ‘on time’ in her return from a trance).
1936   Times 12 Mar. 10/5   [She] paid her interest regularly on time.
1995   M. Kesavan Looking through Glass 187   According to the station clock it was only half-past five, and assuming the train was on time, I still had half an hour.
2006   A. Robbins Overachievers vi. 148   The staff would work at school late into the night to make sure the paper got out on time.

1854—2006(Hide quotations)


 (2) Used attributively (usually in hyphenated form): not late; punctual, prompt.

1891   Music Nov. 38   The..clock on the mantel struck the noon hour, and a little mongrel dog, with an on-time expression on his sharp black nose,..scratched..at the door.
1901   Locomotive Firemen's Mag. July 18/2   You will maintain a high grade of freight and passenger service, and your ‘on time’ trains will be the envy of your neighbor.
1908   Railway Mag. June 518/2   Our knowledge of the capabilities of the Great Western Railway locomotives caused us to hope for an ‘on time’ completion of the voyage.
1967   R. J. Serling President's Plane is Missing (1968) i. 13   As my airline friends would say, I prefer on-time departures.
2005   L. H. Kaufman Leaders Count ix. 274   A United Parcel Service trailer or container..could be tracked through the system and its handling could be expedited so that on-time delivery was virtually certain.

1891—2005(Hide quotations)


 (iii) With reference to wages: according to the amount of time worked. Opposed to by the piece at piece n. Phrases 10a. Now rare.

1847   Law Reporter Apr. 538   The plaintiff's men worked by the piece only, and not by a contract on time.
1867   Leisure Hour 5 Jan. 45/1   They never work for settled wages, ‘on time’, as other workers do, but invariably work by the piece.
1900   Myrtle (Boston, Mass.) 20 Oct. 166/1   Girls who ‘loafed’ could not expect to keep their places, even if they did work ‘by the piece’ instead of ‘on time’.
1962   L. Stein Triangle Fire v. 58   As a worker ‘on time’ rather than ‘by the piece’, punching out on the time clock had become a most meaningful ritual of her daily routine.

1847—1962(Hide quotations)


 (a) out of one's time : in an era unsympathetic to or out of keeping with one's attitudes, aspirations, etc.; at the wrong time. Cf. out of time adv. 1a.

1803   W. Duane Mississippi Question 152   Who can say that he was not intended for that age, and that the fall of Jerusalem was not owing to the unhappy accident of his being born out of his time, and in the wrong country!
1883   Calcutta Rev. 77 149   [He] was a man who lived out of his time... He ought by rights to have been a buccaneer, two hundred years ago.
1884   New Englander (New Haven, Connecticut) Nov. 806   Peter [the Great] was no wonder; not a man out of his time.
1950   ‘D. Divine’ King of Fassarai xvi. 125   Kellie was born out of his time. Last piece of history he could have flourished in was the Alaska rushes.
1973   ‘R. Lewis’ Of Singular Purpose vi. 130   ‘Major Cornelius Van Rijk.’ He laughed shortly. ‘A man out of his time.’
1999   E. Jorgensen & H. Jorgensen Thorstein Veblen xii. 80   Triggs's lecture notes..sound as if they had been written in the 1990s. He was a man perhaps 100 years out of his time.

1803—1999(Hide quotations)


 (b) colloquial (originally Boxing). to knock (formerly also hit, etc.) out of time := to knock out 4 at knock v. Phrasal verbs. Now rare.

1821   Morning Chron. 26 Jan.   Goddard was hit out of time, and lost the fight.
1831   Bell's Life in London 13 Feb.   Though Tom only considers himself a bantam of 9½ stone, he flatters himself he can knock Taylor out of time.
1860   Bell's Life in London 17 Apr. 4/4   The battle was concluded by his being hit out of time by a blow on the serenader.
1874   A. Trollope Phineas Redux II. xxviii. 228   You'll come all right after a few weeks. You've been knocked out of time;—that's the truth of it.
1912   J. Galsworthy Inn of Tranquility 81   Saving people from being knocked out of time by old age, and accidents like illness, and the fluctuations of trade.
1922   M. Pedler Vision of Desire iv. 47   My head's clearing... I was only knocked out of time for a minute.
1950   E. Wingfield-Stratford King Charles the Martyr i. xi. 47   The crack Cavalier squadrons had been knocked out of time; they would not fight again that day.
1963   Brewer's Dict. Phr. & Fable (ed. 8) 524/1   To knock out of time, to settle one's hash for him, double him up.

1821—1963(Hide quotations)

 n. over time.

 (a) Beyond a stipulated or agreed time limit; so as to exceed the time allotted. Cf. overtime adv., to run over —— 7 at run v. Phrasal verbs 2.

1841   Mechanics' Mag. 17 Apr. 308/1   She would have perfomed her voyage in 9 or 10 days, and could not under any circumstances have been more than a day or two over time.
1873   13th Ann. Rep. Free Public Libr. (Worcester, Mass.) 21   We have not the means of knowing at a glance when books have been kept out overtime.
1911   E. T. Seton in Official Handbk. for Boys (Boy Scouts of Amer.) viii. 301   The Man-Hunt... If he gets through, but is over time, it is a draw.
1973   Guardian 9 Aug. 2/2   The result was to run matters badly over time for the first time at the summit.
2004   M. Lanegan in K. St. Thomas & T. Smith Nirvana vii. 49   The ten local bands who opened had gone over time.

1841—2004(Hide quotations)


 (b) In the course of time, as time passes; incrementally or by degrees during a period of time.

1883   G. W. Hackwood Notes Lessons Moral Subj. vii. 35   Industry demands steadiness of application, and not work by fits and starts—that is, well regulated and well apportioned over time: it is uniform.
1943   Rev. Econ. Statistics 25 67 (note)    A rational maximizer would act so as to reduce interest only gradually over time.
1973   New Society 1 Nov. 258/3   Like the Foot-Steel proposals, these would be introduced over time.
2009   New Yorker 26 Oct. 75/2   Players developed characters over time, accumulating skills, equipment, and treasure.

1883—2009(Hide quotations)

 o. to time.

 (a) For all time, forever. Also (in later use only) to all time. Now rare.

a1225  (?a1200)    MS Trin. Cambr. in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1873) 2nd Ser. 183   For þine gulte ishal nu to pine, rotie mote þu to time.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Coriolanus (1623) v. iii. 128   I..that brought you forth this boy, To keepe your name liuing to time .  
1616   B. Jonson Every Man out of his Humor (rev. ed.) Ded., in Wks. I. 81   I vnderstand you, Gentlemen, not your houses: and a worthy succession of you, to all time, as being borne the Iudges of these studies.
1645   G. Wharton Englands Iliads in Nut-shell sig. D3   The Valour I have shewne in this, was Crime, And Gages Death will brand me to all Time.
1796   R. Cumberland Days of Yore ii. 26   Die when you may, your memory will be honor'd to all time.
1882   Mrs. Hills Fair Faces & True Hearts II. v. 92   You may fool me to all time, but you cannot change the natural skin, my dear.
1910   Encycl. Brit. V. 643/1   Some places in North Wales..seem..to have associated with them to all time the glamour of the Mabinogion.

a1225—1910(Hide quotations)


 (b) So as to comply with a time limit, deadline, or other time constraint.

1848   Family Economist 1 83/2   The master was a coarse, uneducated man, who, provided that the work was done to time, cared for little besides.
1873   Every Sat. 26 Apr. 476/1   To it all his faculties were devoted, exempt from the pressure of writing to time and to order.
1913   E. B. Tweedie Amer. as I saw It xix. 341   With the punctuality of kings Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the exact moment, and everything was done to time.
1992   Sight & Sound July 32 (advt.)    Students learn and practice a wide variety of skills including..using talkback, autocue, talking to time, [etc.].
2010   R. Watson-Davis Creative Teaching Pocketbook (new ed.) 108   A cardinal revision need is for students to practise writing to time.

1848—2010(Hide quotations)


 p. colloquial. up to time: on time; punctual. Cf. earlier to come up to time at Phrases 4c. Now rare.

1835   Plantagenet II. v. i. 54   Thee goes tick—tick—tick—tick—tick—and is never up to time!
1837   Dublin Univ. Mag. Mar. 296/2   Dr. Finucane proposed Carrigaholt, as the rendezvous..and Tuesday evening at six as the time... So, pray, be up to time.
1850   Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pa.) 25 Nov. 1/1   Mr. Jenkins was..a very punctual man. He was not only up to time in every thing; but, usually, a little in advance of time.
1930   Boys' Life Mar. 8/1   I'll be glad when five o'clock comes, Guido! Do you think your pal will be up to time?
1945   ‘D. Yates’ House that Berry Built i. 21   ‘Up to time, as usual,’ he murmured. ‘Or did you say three o'clock?’

1835—1945(Hide quotations)


 q. with time: with the passage of time, in the course of time; in time (see Phrases 3k(a)(iii)).

?1531   R. Whitford tr. Folowynge of Cryste iii. lii. f. cxxiii   One howre shall come whan all thy laboure and trowbles shall cease & truely that howre wyll shortly come for all is short that passyth with tyme [L. cum tempore].
1562   J. Shute tr. A. Cambini in Two Comm. Turcks i. f. 23   It semed that if he mought haue contynued, he wolde with time haue greatly preuailed.
1602   J. Colville Parænese sig. aa   Theise Saxons send into England a gret pouer vhilk vith tyme did expell the most part of the said Britons.
1650   Earl of Monmouth tr. J. F. Senault Man become Guilty 272   Ambition increasing with time.
1738   H. Brooke tr. T. Tasso Jerusalem i. 43   But as his Years encrease, his Fires asswage Allay with Time, and mitigate with Age.
1787   W. Nisbet First Lines Theory & Pract. Venereal Dis. i. 200   With time they [sc. symptoms] generally go off.
1809   W. Irving Hist. N.Y. I. i. iii. 28   Intimacy improves with time.
1875   M. Arnold God & Bible p. xxviii   Christianity's admixture of popular legend and illusion was sure to be cleared away with time.
1904   Jrnl. Franklin Inst. 157 248   The skin resistance of copper bonds increases with time.
1970   E. Kübler-Ross On Death & Dying (1973) iii. 35   Denial..allows the patient to recollect himself and, with time, mobilize other, less radical defenses.
2005   G. Critser Generation Rx iii. 172   The liver..is the only organ that can, with time, regenerate itself.

?1531—2005(Hide quotations)


 r. ahead of one's time: see ahead adv. 6b. without time: see without prep. 2c.

 P4. With a verb.
 a. (the) time was (also has been, etc.) : there was a time; frequently with the implication that the specified circumstance no longer obtains. Similarly (the) time will (or shall) be .

 (a) With when or that.

c1384   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) 2 Tim. iv. 3   Forsoth tyme schal be [L. erit enim tempus], whanne men schulen not susteyne, or suffre, hool..teching, but at her desyris thei schulen [etc.].
a1470   T. Malory Morte Darthur (Winch. Coll. 13) (1990) III. 1197   For tyme hath bene, my lorde Arthur, that [y]e were gretly pleased with me whan I ded batayle for my lady, youre quene.
1509   A. Barclay Brant's Shyp of Folys (Pynson) f. xix   The tyme hath ben, nat longe before our dayes Whan [etc.].
1549   M. Coverdale et al. tr. Erasmus Paraphr. Newe Test. II. Gal. v. f. xviii   The tyme was, when it was nedefull.
1584   W. Warner Pan his Syrinx xlix. sig. T   The time was, yea (vngratious Cast-away) the time was, that..thou diddest..find hap, vnlooked for, to recouer thy libertie.
1669   W. Somner Chartham News 5   Canterbury may now seem to stand in the Æstuaries way; yet time was, when in probability it did not.
1680   T. Otway Orphan i. 9   The time has been, When business might have stay'd, and I been hear'd.
1724   J. Swift To Stella 13 Mar. in Wks. (1765) XVII. 32   Time was, when I could yearly pay My verse on Stella's native day.
1791   W. Cowper tr. Homer Iliad in Iliad & Odyssey I. i. 300   Time shall be, when Achilles shall be miss'd.
1835   D. George Mod. Dunciad 106   The time has been, when many a rural lay I tried, as life pass'd airily away.
1856   C. M. Yonge Daisy Chain ii. xxiii. 610   Time was that I should have grasped at such a prospect.
1874   J. T. Micklethwaite Mod. Parish Churches 251   Time was when we had a national style.
1903   G. A. Dorsey & A. L. Kroeber Trad. of Arapaho 385   You shall see him. The time will be when everybody will see him.
1957   M. West Kundu ii. 29   Time was when a man's wealth was measured by the number of his pigs.
2009   T. Pynchon Inherent Vice xiii. 207   Time was when Doc used to actually worry about..ending up just one more diligent cop.

c1384—2009(Hide quotations)


 (b) Without conjunction, used as an introductory formula (cf. once upon a time at once adv. 2b) or parenthetically.

1601   T. Powell Passionate Poet sig. F3v   Time was they vsde it, and t'was onely Gentile..But now religious and the most prophane Partake one Idol and one Cyprus flame.
1611   M. Smith in Bible (King James) Transl. Pref. 5   The same Hierome elsewhere affirmeth, that he, the time was, had set forth the Translation of the Seuenty for his countrymen of Dalmatia.
1737   A. Pope Epist. of Horace ii. i. 10   Time was, a sober Englishman wou'd knock His servants up, and rise by five a clock.
1772   New Foundling Hosp. for Wit: Pt. 5th 32   Time was she earn'd her daily bread, And walk'd the streets in pattens.
1831   T. Hood in Comic Ann. (ed. 2) 32   Time was I liked a cheesecake well enough.
1878   E. P. Hood Maid of Nuremberg 19   My darling, I am blest: The time will be we both shall rest.
1916   L. Dutton Wishing Moon xvii. 261   Her head's high above me now, but the time was she cried on my shoulder.
1998   P. Lively Spiderweb (1999) ii. 13   She had lived, time was, in a house made of dried mud, in a straw hut, in various tents.
2010   L. Turner Little Death in Dixie xxiii. 91   Time was, I believed that bullshit too.

1601—2010(Hide quotations)

 b. to call time . (Cf. sense B.)

 (a) Sport. To give a signal marking a particular moment in time, esp. the end of a period of rest or informal play, or of a prescribed portion of play. Cf. senses A. 21a, A. 21b.

1811   Sporting Mag. July 185/2   The Patriot called time, and walked up to the man of Kent with his arms folded.
1885   Carthusian Mar. 47/2   The visitors claimed a goal on the ground that the umpire had called time too soon, not allowing for a three minutes' delay at half-time.
1919   Evening Post (Wellington, N.Z.) 1 Nov. 9/7   Petone..managed to hold it by half an inch when the referee called time.
2001   D. W. Zang SportsWars ii. 43   As blood spurted from a gash above the American's eye, the German referee called time.

1811—2001(Hide quotations)


 (b) originally U.S. To declare that something (in early use esp. a speech or debate) has finished or should be brought to an end; to curtail an activity, process, etc. Frequently with on.

1858   Knickerbocker Dec. 659   He ‘shall be heard’, however, even if we are obliged, as the stump-speakers say at the South, to ‘call Time on him.
1891   Amer. Practitioner & News 28 Feb. 153/1   We shall call time on subsequent issues.
1899   Amer. Monthly Mag. Apr. 652   It is the duty of the Chair to call time when three minutes have elapsed.
1928   F. C. Happold Approach to Hist. 72   If the lecture is not finished when the twelve minutes are up the time-keeper will call time.
1970   Guardian 11 Dec. 1/5 (heading)    PIB calls time on overtime.
2004   Hotdog Apr. 127/1   Frustrated fanboys cursing Warner Bros for calling time on Angel [sc. a television series].

1858—2004(Hide quotations)


 (c) To announce or signal (the approach of) the end of opening hours in a public house or other licensed establishment. Cf. sense A. 21c.

1898   Cornish Mag. 1 336   Landlord Penhale called time, and began to put the lights out as a hint that they must go.
1969   D. Davin in Landfall Mar. 19   The barman was calling time. Men were buying their last-minute bottles to take away.
1989   A. Aird 1990 Good Pub Guide 105   An enormous bronze bell for calling time.
2005   C. Cleave Incendiary 139   We drank our drinks and I went up to the bar with Terence to get 2 more in but just then the landlord called time.

1898—2005(Hide quotations)

 c. to come (up) to time .

 (a) Boxing. To be ready to continue when time is called at the start of a new round. Also in extended use. Now rare (historical in later use).

1811   Sporting Mag. July 185/2   100 to 10 against the Patriot's coming to time.
1853   W. Robinson Yankee Middy xvi. 83   At length..Cesar began to show evident signs that he had ‘enough’; for though he still ‘came up to time’, his ‘charges’ were made with considerable less force than in the beginning of the fight.
1911   Times 28 Mar. 16/5   Houghton pluckily came up to time, but he was soon prone once more, and Bowker was declared the winner.
1935   G. Heyer Regency Buck ii. 24   Molyneux came up to time, and charged in, planting one or two blows.

1811—1935(Hide quotations)


 (b) colloquial. To do or be capable of doing what is expected or required, esp. at a crucial moment. Cf. to come up to scratch at scratch n.1 5a. Now rare.

1817   Ld. Byron Let. 24 Feb. (1976) V. 171   This does not prevent me from expecting the said John Murray Esqre. ‘to come up to time’ because then I know the precise extent of my floating funds.
1874   Thistleton's Illustr. Jolly Giant 11 July 21/3   [They] have hit upon the proper plan to make those papers come to time and learn to respect the liberty of American citizens.
1885   H. A. Beers Nathaniel Parker Willis v. 216   Rev. Timothy Flint..had agreed to supply the required papers, but he having left New York for Louisiana Territory, and failed to come to time, Willis was invited to take his place.
1903   M. H. Foote Touch of Sun 188   I've a mind to speak for myself now, if Micky doesn't come up to time.
1920   W. Atkinson Autobiogr. ix. 85   Howard's father also came to time with the other five hundred dollars.
1956   J. L. Rutledge Cent. of Confl. v. 80   So situated, the planners conceded, the New Englanders would come to time at the King's convenience.

1817—1956(Hide quotations)

 d. colloquial. to do (one's) time and variants.

 (a) originally Criminals' slang. To spend time in prison for an offence. Cf. sense A. 8b.

1865   Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper 26 Feb. 12/2   He continued, ‘I had nothing to do with the shawl robbery..nor Johnson's—I was doing time (meaning, I was in prison).’
1888   ‘R. Boldrewood’ Robbery under Arms xli   People can't be expected to associate with men that have ‘done time’.
1904   A. Griffiths Fifty Years Public Service xiii. 185   He did his ‘time’ without protest.
1932   L. E. Lawes 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1943–4) viii. 268   The aristocrat in prison is the prisoner who has learned how to do his time.
1963   Social Probl. 11 198   Don't do the crime unless you can do the time.
1984   M. A. Jarman Dancing nightly in Tavern 49   ‘You did some time?’ Luke asks. ‘In the Fort. Got picked up running smoke from Vancouver.’
2010   Atlantic Monthly Mar. 37/3   A former member of NAMBLA..doing time at Limon for sexual exploitation of a child.

1865—2010(Hide quotations)


 (b) To spend a period of time in a specified situation or position (typically doing a job or task), esp. one regarded as obligatory but unpleasant.

1897   Academy 3 July (Fiction Suppl.) 26/2   Mr. Griffith's leading character is a revivified mummy... The women of the book, one of whom has also done time as a mummy, are superfluous.
1912   Assembly Herald Dec. 657/1   Every young Mormon who looks forward to social, political or ecclesiastical preferment must be ready to ‘do time’ as a missionary.
1959   D. Lessing Each in his own Wilderness 43   When I was doing my time in his office I was permanently amazed at the way all the women were ready to lie down and let him walk all over them.
1971   P. Larkin Let. 6 Sept. in Sel. Lett. (1992) 445   I'm doing time as Librarian of the U. of Hull, & really haven't much connection with Coventry left.
2004   N.Y. Mag. 6 Sept. 26/1   Did you do your time in two-bedroom apartments you shared with three actors, two magazine fact-checkers, and a crystal-meth-addled pastry chef?

1897—2004(Hide quotations)


 e. to give (a person) time : to allow sufficient time for a person to change his or her opinion or attitude, vindicate claims made on his or her behalf, etc. Similarly to give (a matter, etc.) time . Frequently in imperative.

a1762   W. McEwen Grace & Truth (1763) ii. xvii. 195   How absurd is it for any to hasten providence? Give it time, and it will do all things well.
1803   Pic Nic No. 3. 6   Give but time to this experiment, and it will work its end.
1855   W. G. Simms Forayers xiii. 125   With all his prejudices, father is just in the end—only give him time and all will be right.
1902   H. James Wings of Dove xv. 231   ‘He won't..make up his mind about me.’ ‘Well,’ Milly smiled, ‘give him time.’
1940   W. Faulkner Hamlet i. iii. 60   He'll pick it up though... Just give him time.
1962   J. F. Powers Morte d'Urban vii. 151   I don't say the present population wants it, but give 'em time.
2004   L. Jensen Ninth Life of Louis Drax 215   Give it time, said Marcel Perez. Treat it like bereavement. There are stages to it.

a1762—2004(Hide quotations)


 f. as (the) times go : as things are in these times; according to current standards. Now rare.

1629   in N. Brent tr. P. Sarpi Hist. Councel of Trent (ed. 2) 847   As the times goe now, he that knowes not how to make no shewe of what hee meanes..is much more ignorant how to play the Pope.
1632   H. More tr. G. Piatti Happines Relig. State i. xxxvi. 188   Secular Lay-people, as times go now adayes, either runne headlong into al manner of vice, or..think they do wel enough if they abstayne from sinne.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 298. ⁋3   Persons, of tolerable Figure too as Times go.
1765   G. Colman tr. Terence Andrian i. i, in tr. Terence Comedies 11   He rul'd his life By prudent maxims: for, as times go now, Compliance raises friends, and truth breeds hate.
1841   Fraser's Mag. 23 16   ‘How goes it, Joe?’ ‘Pretty well, as times go.’
1891   H. Nisbet Colonial Tramp I. 101   ‘Johnny’ in Victoria is a model of cleanliness and industry, and as the times go, honest also.
1939   N.Y. Times 6 May 2/7   As times go we must not enter into treaties with a single power or group of powers.
1953   D. S. Brewer Chaucer 186   Chaucer, an old man as the times went, and with a lifelong association with the House of Lancaster, acquiesced in the change.

1629—1953(Hide quotations)


 (a) colloquial (originally Australian and New Zealand). to have no (a lot of, etc.) time for , to have no (considerable, etc.) respect or admiration for.

1901   N.Z. Observer 2 Nov. 26/1   [He] seems down-hearted since the girls have no time for him.
1904   Shearer (Sydney) 27 Aug. 8/2   We have no time for the ‘claptrap’ ladled out to the workers by blatherskites of the Cocky Mac type.
1938   N. Marsh Artists in Crime xi. 156   The only one they seemed to have much time for was the Honourable Basil Pilgrim.
1952   A. Grimble Pattern of Islands ix. 177   He never had much time for pen-pushers, as he called them.
1966   J. Cleary High Commissioner xi. 247   I don't think he'd harm her... I think he had a lot of time for my wife.
1987   D. Simpson Elem. of Doubt (1988) iii. 29   There's no point in pretending I had much time for Nerine.
2006   Dogs Monthly July 61/2   I have always had a lot of time for Vita and I think she is a great lady.

1901—2006(Hide quotations)


 (b) a good, etc., time was had by all : everyone enjoyed themselves (in later use sometimes ironically).

1865   Hartford (Connecticut) Weekly Times 21 Oct.   The Charter Oak club gave them and a few invited guests a supper, at which a social good time was had by all present.
1879   St. Louis (Missouri) Clin. Record June 81/1   Toasts were drunk, speeches made, and a generally enjoyable time was had by all.
1935   Times 27 Dec. 5/4   A flower carnival in which both cannibals and their prospective victims joined, and at which, of course, a good time was had by one and all.
1949   F. Maclean Eastern Approaches iii. ix. 406   After that we mixed a delicious drink in the bath tub, and a good time, as the saying goes, was had by all.
1993   R. Murphy Smash & Grab Introd. 3/2   Street battles took place between police and locals where uniformed and plain-clothes men cheerfully joined in and ‘a good time was had by all’.
2010   B. Bordy Bawdy Chrons. viii. 128   All the Hunkies, except me, got falling down drunk... A great time was had by all.

1865—2010(Hide quotations)

 h. to keep time . Also with modifying adjective.

 (i) To adhere to the correct rhythm in the performance of a piece of music, a dance, or other rhythmic activity; to keep pace with a beat, another performer, etc. (also with to). Also figurative.

a1527   W. Peeris Prov. in Anglia (1892) 14 479   Who so lyst to handill an instrument so goode Must se in his many fyngerynge þt he kepe tyme stop and moode.
1597   W. Shakespeare Richard II v. v. 43   Keepe time, how sowre sweete Musicke is When time is broke, and no proportion kept.  
1601   B. Jonson Fountaine of Selfe-love i. ii. sig. B4   Slow, Slow Fresh fount, keepe time with my salt teares.  
1648   J. Beaumont Psyche vi. clvii. 86/2   Though she kept slow time, yet she sung true.
a1657   C. Croke Fortune's Uncertainty (1667) 84   They all plaid on the Guittar and Cittern, and the irrational Animals prettily kept time to their musical Notes.
1753   Chambers's Cycl. Suppl. (at cited word)   When, in galloping, the hind quarters follow and keep time with the fore.
1790   Coll. Voy. round World I. vii. 177   They keep time with such exactness, that 60 or 100 paddles..make only a single report.
1817   Ld. Byron Beppo lxiii   I can't well break it, But must keep time and tune like public singers.
1894   A. B. Gomme Trad. Games I. 330   He puts on it first his right and then his left foot, gradually quickening his steps, keeping time to the words.
1928   Daily Express 22 June 11/3   There is the ‘piaffe’ in which the horses keep time without advancing.
1975   P. Kronhausen & E. Kronhausen Sex People iii. 23   She went into a thumping, shimmying..bump-and-grind routine that kept perfect time with the music.
2003   Vogue Aug. 320 (caption)    Rose-cheeked Scottish maids who sang folk ballads in unison to keep time with one another as they passed the fabric from one hand to hand.

a1527—2003(Hide quotations)


 (ii) To mark the rhythm or pulse of a musical performance by movements of the hand, a baton, etc.; = to beat time at beat v.1 32.

1658   J. Playford Breif Introd. Skill Musick (new ed.) i. viii. 24   In the Keeping your Time your hand goes up at one Minum and down at the other.
1663   S. Pepys Diary 22 Nov. (1971) IV. 394   The King is a little Musicall, and kept good time with his hand all along the Anthem.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 503. ⁋2   Now the Organ was to play a Voluntary, and she..kept time..with some Motion of her Head.
1835   A. Smith Diary 10 Dec. (1940) II. 298   She kept time with her fingers by beating upon the dried lambskin... This..furnished delightful music.
1897   R. Jay Missionary Family 255   No sooner..did the voluntary begin, than the little feet were on the move, keeping brisk time against the front of the pew.
1908   King's Royal Rifle Corps Chron. 1907 48   He himself played a cornet, with which he conducted..; he kept time by stamping with his right foot.
1989   T. Kidder Among Schoolchildren vii. i. 233   Judith's father kept time on a güiro.
2004   Mod. Drummer June 144/3   The idea of playing phrases as opposed to just keeping time, setting the meter, or establishing an underbed for the other bandmembers to play off of.

1658—2004(Hide quotations)


 (i) Of a timepiece: to register the passage of time well, badly, etc.; (without qualification) to do this correctly or reliably.

a1582   W. Bourne Inuentions or Deuises (?1590) cxiii. 98   It hath bene done by wheeles, as you may see by clockes, that doo keepe tyme, some goyng with plummets, and some with springs.
1640   Bp. J. Hall Christian Moderation i. vii. 70   Our body is as a well-set clock which keeps good time.
1714   W. Derham Artific. Clock-maker (ed. 3) v. 71   This Clock having for some Years kept time as well as could be expected, I hung upon its Weight an Addition of 6 Pound.
1737   Gentleman's Mag. Feb. 68/1   None of them [sc. spring clocks and watches] can be so sufficiently adjusted as to keep Time to Exactness.
1807   T. Young Course Lect. Nat. Philos. I. xvii. 189   An orrery, moved by a weight, and keeping time, which was sent, in 1232, by the Sultan of Egypt, as a present to the Emperor Frederic II.
1889   7th Ann. Rep. State Board Health Indiana 191   A wooden-wheeled clock, nearly a century old, which kept very poor time.
1923   R. L. Cassie Heart or Heid 18   That great neep o' a watch o' yours wunna keep time.
1973   J. Wainwright Touch of Malice 97   It was a good clock..and, apart from power cuts, it kept perfect time.
2005   Driven Oct. 20/2   You can buy a Timex and it will keep better time than a $10,000 Patek Philippe.

a1582—2005(Hide quotations)


 (ii) To be punctual; to be on time. Also with qualification: to be good, bad, etc., with regard to punctuality.

1602   tr. B. Guarini Pastor Fido iv. vii. sig. M2   Great fortune that my father me detain'd So with a tedious stay, as then me thought, Had I kept time but as Lisetta bad, Surely some strange aduenture had I had.
1643   R. Williams Key into Lang. Amer. ix. 63   They..sometimes have charged me with a lye for not punctually keeping time, though hindred.
1796   G. Colman Iron Chest ii. v. 74   2d Rob. None of our comrades come yet? They will be finely soak'd. 1st Rob. Aye, the rain pours like a spout upon the ruins of the old abbey wall here. Jud. I'm glad on't. May it drench them, and breed agues! 'twill teach them to keep time.
1838   Bentley's Misc. July 45   He had to keep good time in arriving at the canal.
1865   H. Merritt Robert Dalby & his World of Troubles xxviii. 134   ‘How was it you managed to keep bad time, boy?’.. ‘I have had to run of errands between school hours, sir.’
1874   Times 4 Nov. 6/5   The Pullman train..keeps time to a minute.
1908   Cassier's Mag. Mar. 563/2   The loafer, if he keeps good time, as surely obtains his bonus as the diligent and skillful workman.
1942   Rev. Econ. Stud. 9 172   Where discipline is slack, one sometimes finds whole shops keeping bad time.
2009   C. O. N. Moser Ordinary Families, Extraordinary Lives x. 218   There is a far greater responsibility to keep time, to work hard, and to change your work ethic.

1602—2009(Hide quotations)


 (c) Of a person: to record or monitor time elapsed, worked, etc.; to act as a timekeeper at a sporting event, workplace, etc.; cf. timekeeper n. 3.

1805   Sporting Mag. Dec. 129/1   He can't have lost the battle [i.e. a boxing match]—or if he has, it is not by giving in, but for want of keeping time between the rounds.
1838   Rep. Select Comm. Educ. Poorer Classes 64 in Parl. Papers VII. 157   The law..insists upon a room being supplied with books, and a man to keep time for the children, to certify that they have been there two hours a day.
1888   Post Office Buildings (41st U.S. Congr. 2nd Sess. H. R. Rep. No. 58) 58   If the man appointed to keep time at the quarry should conspire with the contractor at the quarry, is not the government at their mercy in regard to being cheated?
1901   Notes & Queries 9th Ser. 7 356/2   It was my daily duty to keep time and to ‘sub’ for some hundreds of men engaged on extensive railway..works in England.
1972   Black Belt Mar. 29/2   Keeping time with a stopwatch teaches arithmetic.
1999   Grimsby Evening Tel. (Nexis) 3 Apr. 31   Which referee would keep time and how would they be able to communicate with each other to ensure the correct amount of time was played?

1805—1999(Hide quotations)


 (a) to lose no time and variants: to act without delay, take urgent action; to be quick (in beginning or doing something).

1543  (▸1464)    Chron. J. Hardyng (1812) 534   They dooing in euery thing as they were bidden loste no tyme, but so sped theim that shortely they obteygned and gate into the countie of Angeou.
1567   W. Painter Palace of Pleasure II. vii. f. 58v   Get thee hence with all possible spede, and lose no time in doing this thy message.
a1645   W. Browne tr. M. Le Roy Hist. Polexander (1647) iii. v. 155   We must lose no time. Resolve your selfe therefore to go to Morocco with Cydaria.
1752   T. Carte Gen. Hist. Eng. III. 155   The king lost no time in making use of the liberty of remarrying.
1808   J. Jamieson Etymol. Dict. Sc. Lang. at Snack   Be snack, be quick, do not lose time.
1874   W. P. Lennox My Recoll. II. 72   My guide then informing me that within three miles there were several salmon pools, I lost no time in proceeding there.
1903   W. B. Yeats Let. 25 Oct. (1994) III. 454   It forms part of a book my sisters are now going to print, and which will probably be published soon after Christmas, so I must lose no time about it.
1922   S. Ford Trilby May crashes In xi. 182   ‘I think that gives me a hunch.’ I didn't lose any time in following it, either.
1960   Baseball Digest Feb. 76   I still was burning when it was all over and lost no time busting into the officials' room to chew them out.
2002   H. Kunzru Impressionist (2003) 23   Once they finally reached Agra..she lost no time in breaking the shocking news to the servants of her new household.

1543—2002(Hide quotations)


 (b) no time to lose and variants: used to express or emphasize the need for quick or urgent action. Chiefly in to have no time to lose , there is (was, etc.) no time to lose .

1603   J. Florio tr. M. de Montaigne Ess. i. xxvii. 93   Sithence it must continue so short a time, and begunne so late (for we were both growne men, and he some yeares older then my selfe) there was no time to be lost [Fr. elle n'avait point à perdre temps].
1636   tr. J. D. de Saint-Sorlin Ariana i. v. 82   They hastened away because there was no time to lose.
1726   R. Bradley Country Gentleman & Farmer's Monthly Director 12   Now there is no time to lose, all Hands, and all the Teams that can be procured, are little enough for large Farms to get the Ground cropt compleatly for a Summer Harvest.
1790   Maid of Kent II. 159   There is no time to be lost. She is pursued by a wretch who seeks her perdition.
1863   Fraser's Mag. July 101   If we're for action, there's no time to lose... The ball's with Pigot if we hesitate.
1927   Pop. Mech. Mar. (Advertising section) 13/2   If you want your set of the new Britannica in the preferred new form, you have no time to lose.
1994   J. Coe What a Carve Up! (1995) 169   We must meet, Michael. There are no two ways about it. We must arrange a rendezvous, and there is no time to be lost.
2010   J. Dane Evil without Face xi. 142   She had no time to lose if she intended to get at the truth enough to help Jess.

1603—2010(Hide quotations)


 (a) U.S. colloquial. to make a time : to make a fuss; to ‘make a song and dance’. Now rare.

1844   Columbian Mag. 179/1   You never saw people so delighted as they were to meet me; shook hands and made such a time of it that I really was afraid they were going to kiss me in the street.
1871   E. Prentiss Aunt Jane's Hero (1872) vi. 50   When he first proposed to enlist, she made a time about it, and said and did all she could to alter his resolution.
1919   N. Barley Gorgeous Girl (1920) xxiii. 318   Her aunt said she saw you and made quite a time of it. I'm sorry.
1935   M. N. Rawson Little Old Mills 317   When Ma and the children would make a time about it..one went somewhere, anywhere—not to have light talk of it.

1844—1935(Hide quotations)


 (b) to make time: see make v.1 9d, make v.1 53a, make v.1 53c.


 k. colloquial. to take (a person) all his (also her, etc.) time : to require great effort from, to present great difficulties to.

1842   C. M. Kirkland Forest Life I. xix. 192   My cows would concentrate..whether or no, and it took all my time to run after 'em.
1880   R. Richardson Phil's Champion vi. 60   That sort of bed makes a room little better nor a sty, an' would take me all my time keepin' the place clean.
1941   E. Carr Klee Wyck 89   It took Jimmie all his time in the shallows to keep us in the channel.
1995   D. Witte in V. Bonner et al. Chilcotin 257   And that mare could buck! It took me all my time to stay with her.
2006   N. Monaghan Killing Jar (2007) i. 7   Sometimes it took her all her time to stand up or sit down.

1842—2006(Hide quotations)


 l. colloquial (originally U.S.). time's a-wasting and variants: ‘time is running out’, ‘hurry up’. Cf. waste v. 14.

1884   ‘C. E. Craddock’ In Tennessee Mountains 18   Hurry an' git supper, child. Time's a-wastin',—time's a-wastin!
1942   Los Angeles Times 25 June i. 18/2   May we remember that there is a war going on and that time is ‘a-wasting’.
1967   Boys' Life Apr. 6/3   So get going—time's a-wastin'!
2002   W. Woodruff Road to Nab End (2003) 3   Others thought that anybody over seventy had every right to do as he pleased. ‘Time's a-wasting’, they said, noting my faulty gait.

1884—2002(Hide quotations)


 m. to abide one's time: see abide v. 1a. to bide one's time: see bide v. 6. to break time: see break v. 15a. to gain time: see gain v.2 1c. to mark time: see mark v. 23. to take (one's) time: see take v. 67b. to wait one's time: see wait v.1 8. Other idiomatic uses, in which time is a frequent but not invariable component, are also dealt with elsewhere; these include to kill time (see kill v. 5), time hangs heavy (or heavily) (see hang v. 15b), to redeem the time (see redeem v. 10), to save time (see save v. 18b).

 P5. With various modifiers.

 (a) many times (also many a time, †many time): on many occasions, in many instances; often, frequently.

c1275Many-time [see sense A. 18a].
c1275   Kentish Serm. in J. Hall Select. Early Middle Eng. (1920) I. 218   Ure lord god almichti..habbeþ [MS hadeþ] manitime maked of watere wyn gostliche.
a1375   William of Palerne (1867) l. 924 (MED)   My seknes wiþ my siȝtes sumtime slakes, & mani times doþ me mourne mor þan to-fore.
a1425  (?a1400)    G. Chaucer Romaunt Rose (Hunterian) (1891) l. 6974   I am gladly executour And many tymes a procuratour.
?a1425   Mandeville's Trav. (Egerton) (1889) 12 (MED)   Men may se þare þe erthe of þe toumbe many a tyme stirre and moue.
a1500  (a1415)    J. Mirk Festial (Gough) (1905) 39   Þe kyng hymselfe wold mony a tyme vnwarned come to þe mete.
1535   Bible (Coverdale) Psalms lxxvii. 38   Many a tyme turned he his wrath awaye.
1590   J. Smythe Certain Disc. Weapons Ded. 6   Which I haue heard manie, and manie times publikelie reported by manie valiant Gentlemen.
1622   R. Hawkins Observ. Voiage South Sea x. 19   Which..many times is cause of dissention.
1631   J. Humfrey Let. 4 Nov. in Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc. (1846) 3rd Ser. IX. 235   Wee manitimes groape after happines in manie yea anie other wayes.
1680   R. L'Estrange tr. Erasmus 20 Select Colloquies xiv. 199   They have fetch'd me over many and many a time.
1701   D. Defoe True-born Englishman ii. 45   Englishmen ha' done it many a time.
1722   D. Defoe Moll Flanders 98   He discover'd many times his inclination of going over to Virginia to live upon his own.
1816   J. Allen Mod. Judaism 390   The shouphar or cornet is sounded many times in the course of this festival.
1855   Harper's Mag. July 212/1   Many a time would she come and sit by his easel, and try her little powers to charm him.
1884   H. D. Rawnsley in Trans. Wordsworth Soc. 6 188   Eh dear, many time I've watched him coming round wi' lantern and her after a walk by night.
1963   ‘C. Rohan’ Down by Dockside 14   Many a time he paid my Union money when I didn't have it.
1993   J. Green It: Sex since Sixties 164   I got leaned on by villains many many times... But I didn't pay up.
2008   A. C. Clarke & F. Pohl Last Theorem xlviii. 288   Over a long and happy marriage he had seen his wife's naked body