Main definitions of clock in English

: clock1clock2

clock1

noun

  • 1A mechanical or electrical device for measuring time, indicating hours, minutes, and sometimes seconds by hands on a round dial or by displayed figures.

    ‘the church clock struck four’
    as modifier ‘a clock face’
    • ‘Looking to the antique grandfather clock in the hallway, I raised a brow.’
    • ‘Soon, Alyssa was pacing around the large room, looking at the antique cuckoo clock every few minutes.’
    • ‘Decker checked her antique clock on her desk.’
    • ‘The clock on the mantelpiece shows the time to be 11 am.’
    • ‘He checked the cuckoo clock on the wall for the time and it was only nine twenty-five.’
    • ‘As soon as darkness was complete, Olivia looked to the clock beside her bed.’
    • ‘Sighing, I glanced out the door to the clock on my bedside table.’
    • ‘Adel and Doug entered the house just as the large grandfather clock struck twelve.’
    • ‘I glanced at the digital alarm clock by my bed.’
    • ‘I looked at the clock on the VCR and rubbed the end of my eye.’
    • ‘He is watching the clock strike the last minute of his tenure at the company.’
    • ‘Darryn's anxiety increased as he watched the ticking clock, wondering where Kara was.’
    • ‘A good example of a no UI solution is setting the clock on a VCR.’
    • ‘Melatonin resets the body clock to synchronize metabolic functions with times of activity and rest.’
    • ‘She slipped her arms into the sleeves as the clock chimed the three-quarter hour.’
    • ‘She hears the grandfather clock chiming, but when she looks at it, it is running backwards.’
    • ‘I rolled over and looked at the digital alarm clock on my bedside table.’
    • ‘Katrina reached across the bed and turned the clock on the nightstand.’
    • ‘He watched the ticking on his bedside clock until the minute hand felt more like the hour hand.’
    • ‘Some people find that a ticking clock in the room helps.’
    timepiece, timekeeper, timer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the clock Time taken as a factor in an activity, especially in competitive sports.
      ‘this stage is played against the clock’
      • ‘Remarkably he beat the Texan in the first race against the clock at last year's event.’
      • ‘On a sprint day, each athlete races against the clock to gain a qualifying time on the course.’
      • ‘It was all done against the clock, too: after the middle of October, the Barents Sea is too inhospitable for rescue work.’
      • ‘She said that while being older meant she had more words to hand, the younger competitors tended to be quicker against the clock.’
      • ‘Driving against the clock increased the drivers' alertness, but led some to experience feelings of superiority or invulnerability.’
      • ‘This could be the day that effectively decides this year's race as the riders go against the clock for the individual time trial.’
      • ‘In the Winchester Challenge competitors shoot against the clock.’
      • ‘Champagne corks were popping when a three-week project against the clock was completed in time at a community centre in Ulverston.’
      • ‘Basso looked very good in the Giro and has improved against the clock since last year.’
      • ‘The front-runner is racing against the clock to seal the deal because the F1 season closes in only a matter of weeks.’
      • ‘The Department of Finance faces a race against the clock: September 20 is the date on which the rules take effect.’
      • ‘Each will compete against the clock on a section of Rockingham's infield ‘street’ circuit.’
      • ‘In a time trial racers go one at a time competing only against the clock going out alone with no teammates to help.’
      • ‘These are timed games against the clock - the faster you play, the higher you score.’
      • ‘It'd be a race against the clock, of course, until your youth runs out.’
      • ‘Each competitor has to complete the activity against the clock, with the one who completes the circuit in the fastest time the winner.’
      • ‘When I'm out there I will be running against the clock rather than thinking in terms of placing.’
      • ‘They were dreading a race against the clock to get there in time until the M.E.N. stepped in to help organise cut-price air fares for the dedicated dozen.’
      • ‘Wiggins's stance is always to race against the clock rather than give time to thinking about his opponent.’
      • ‘Firefighters were battling against the clock to prevent the incident at Studley Grange landfill site from escalating into a major emergency.’
    2. 1.2informal A measuring device such as a speedometer, taximeter, or milometer.
      ‘a car with over 82,000 miles on the clock’
      • ‘I have a great 1995 Mercedes with just 115,000 on the clock.’
      • ‘You remembered the extra 50 miles that every away loss puts on the clock going home.’
      • ‘It's a 2000 automatic with 60,000 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘Mr O'Brien was also advertising his top-of-the-range Rover 75 which had only 4,000 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘I knew that I wanted a smallish 2004 automatic model with as few as possible kilometres on the clock.’
      • ‘Be wary, as a 120,000-mile example would be showing just 20,000 on the clock.’
      • ‘Such a worn interior in a BMW with just 77,000 miles on the clock seemed highly unlikely.’
      • ‘The Escort came back with 254 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘Ten minutes into the return journey, with only 360 miles on the clock, the engine started misfiring badly.’
      • ‘But his favourite motor is the Ford Popular he keeps in pristine condition with just 48,000 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘Mud had been splattered across the front and on the roof, while between 40 and 60 extra miles had been put on the clock, they alleged.’
      • ‘Firstly, most comparable cars seen in Namibia had over 180 000 km on the clock.’
      • ‘Consider a two-year-old for €30,000, with less than 10,000 on the clock - they're not hard to find.’
      • ‘It had 184,000 miles on the clock when we set off and it's over 3,000 miles to Barcelona, but so far it's doing fine.’
      • ‘But, given the luxury of her Jag, with just 1,000 miles on the clock, she wasn't too concerned.’
      • ‘His Hyundai Accent car was returned to Madrid airport on 18 July with some 1,250 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘Now, despite having two million miles on the clock, it takes Doug and his wife Glynis all over the country to shows.’
      • ‘Generally there is no point with diesels as the power dies long before 4,000 rpm is on the clock.’
      • ‘They will do the Plymouth to Dakar Challenge driving in their £70 Volvo car, which the pair purchased in Sweden with 230,000 miles on the clock.’
      • ‘Remarkably it had only one owner and came with 70,000 miles on the clock.’
      milometer, odometer, counter
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Computing An electronic device used to initiate and synchronize internal operations.
      • ‘Naturally the BIOS of the motherboard has the clock throttling feature enabled, as its disabled by default.’
      • ‘One is synchronised with the processor clock, and the other a quarter of a cycle later.’
      • ‘With files shared among a large number of workstations, it becomes imperative that machines have their clocks synchronized so that file time stamps are globally comparable.’
      • ‘Finally, it is good practice to synchronize the clocks of all nodes using ntpd or something similar.’
      • ‘They can be connected to the serial port of a PC and provide time signals synchronized on the NIST clock.’
  • 2British A downy spherical seed head, especially that of a dandelion.

    • ‘Field edge paths have fancy dandelions, namely goats beard, broadcasting their large clocks of seeds.’
    • ‘Arabidopsis has open rosette leaves during the day and directs its leaves upward at night and this leaf movement is controlled by the circadian clock.’
    • ‘The expression of CO is under the control of a circadian clock.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, the circadian clock of plants is currently being dissected and this evidence may be helpful for hypothesis formation.’
  • 3British informal A person's face.

    ‘I thought I recognized your clock’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Attain or register (a specified time, distance, or speed)

    ‘Thomas has clocked up forty years service’
    no object ‘this is a generous CD, clocking in at more than 60 minutes’
    • ‘Of course, there is no question that Bannister ran the full distance and clocked the historic 3min 59.4sec.’
    • ‘Crawford clocked 20.31 secs, with Gatlin eight one hundredths of a second back.’
    • ‘I very much doubt if any midfielder in the country clocked up the mileage the Curry man did on Sunday.’
    • ‘Hovercrafters can swiftly clock up speeds of around 80 mph.’
    • ‘The 23-year-old rider from Hitchin clocked 34.626 seconds on her Olympic debut.’
    • ‘I took to running, clocking respectable times in 10K's and half marathons.’
    • ‘After clocking up 10,000 miles, it still sounds as smooth as the day I first drove it.’
    • ‘SMART - 1 clocked up 332 orbits around Earth, so that the distance it travelled was rather further than the 380,000 linear km to the moon.’
    • ‘They have gained awards after clocking up more than 200 hours of voluntary activity.’
    • ‘Over 51 hours of community work was clocked up for the local koalas.’
    • ‘Can you savour the South American experience without clocking up monstrous mileage?’
    • ‘After already clocking 120 points, they are relishing the prospect of the Boxing Day derby with Swinton.’
    • ‘In the 1988 Olympic final, Johnson beat Lewis, clocking a new world record of 9.79 seconds.’
    • ‘Clocking up a total of 60 miles it was a well worthwhile drive.’
    • ‘Having clocked a speed of just over 240 miles per hour, this car still holds the record as the fastest production car ever.’
    • ‘I'd clocked more than 200 miles and my forearms were feeling the strain.’
    • ‘Despite rain-slickened roads, they clocked an average speed of 53.71 kph - the third fastest ever.’
    • ‘In a recent test, the prototype clocked a maximum speed of 193 mph, earning it the title of world's fastest EV limousine.’
    • ‘Together, they clocked an average growth rate of 6.1% in 2002.’
    • ‘He was a prolific scorer from the first day out and he clocked up some unbelievable scoring totals.’
    register, record, log
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Achieve (a victory)
      ‘he clocked up his first win of the year’
      • ‘I clocked up 32 victories and 2 charged sigils in survival mode playing Tekken Tag Tournament yesterday.’
      • ‘The trio has clocked up some notable achievements in its first decade and has been invited all over the world.’
      • ‘At The Australian, they reminisced about News Corp's Australian roots as Rupert clocked up yet another corporate victory.’
      • ‘Long Lee Under-7s clocked up a 7-3 victory over Eldwick after Kian Shaw scored a goal in the first minute.’
      • ‘He has clocked up most of his big race victories in recent years, with a French Derby win on Celtic Swing in 1995 among the highlights.’
      • ‘Pipe's Marcel earlier clocked up a sixth straight win when claiming the Sharp Novices' Hurdle.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Civil Service had their best result of the season when they clocked a ten-wicket victory over New Earswick.’
      • ‘She finished in 9: 23.17 with Yelena Zadorozhnaya clocking up another Russian success ahead of Poland's Lidia Chojecka by 0.17 secs in 8: 53.45.’
      • ‘Long Lee Under-13s B clocked up their third consecutive win with a 5-4 victory over Wilsden.’
      • ‘After clocking up seven consecutive victories at the start of the league season, they were beaten by Sheffield.’
      • ‘With the seer onside Sparta began to clock up successes.’
      • ‘Partick Thistle were another team celebrating after clocking up their third league success of the season with a 3-1 triumph over Stirling Albion at Firhill.’
      • ‘They are in a strong position this term, however, having clocked up eight successive wins.’
      • ‘They did it in the same fashion, clocking a world record to defeat the US.’
      • ‘They could clock up their first ever victory in Limerick and clinch station in the upper tier.’
      • ‘The visitors, who have clocked up 77 successive league wins, were given a stern test across all departments.’
      • ‘Jiangsu slip from second to fourth place as a result which clocked up an incredible 11-2 victory at home to Sichuan Mianyang.’
    2. 1.2 Record as attaining a specified time or rate.
      ‘the tower operators clocked a gust at 185 mph’
      • ‘Monitoring of the A590 has clocked cars, motorbikes and vans going more than 100 mph.’
      • ‘He pulled me over after clocking my speed at 110 mph.’
      • ‘It has been clocked at speeds of up to 20 miles an hour (32 kilometers an hour) and can probably swim even faster than that.’
      • ‘Ten of those caught face a court appearance, mostly because they were clocked doing excessively high speeds.’
      • ‘He said I was clocked doing 45 in a 30 mph zone.’
      • ‘A number of bikers were also reported for speeding with one clocked doing 96 mph.’
      • ‘I heard that someone was clocked doing 87 mph down here once.’
      • ‘Police even brought in a spotter plane to clock the speeds of bikers, but it failed to deter them.’
      • ‘A friend of mine who owns a stolen radar gun once clocked my typing speed at roughly 120 words per minute.’
      • ‘The England star was clocked speeding at an average of 92 mph on the M1, Leeds Magistrates Court was told.’
      • ‘At one point on the straight kilometre course a speed gun clocks how fast you are going.’
      • ‘Halo clocked our ground speed at over a hundred miles an hour.’
      • ‘One rider was clocked travelling at over 90 mph.’
      • ‘His fastball was clocked as high as 95 mph in the eighth inning.’
      • ‘This means that the memory in E7205-based mainboards is clocked at the rate equal to the FSB frequency.’
      • ‘His fastball is clocked at 96 mph, and he has a good slider.’
      • ‘The camera clocked the car at 51 mph and at 44 mph.’
      • ‘Some individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to two and a half knots - useful if you want to pursue fish.’
  • 2British informal Notice or watch.

    ‘I noticed him clocking her in the mirror’
    • ‘Next time you drive by a construction site, well, that guy in the hard hat and the sweaty tee might be clocking you.’
    • ‘They did so, with a video camera, and clocked him dropping off a kitchen unit at an address he had no business visiting.’
    • ‘Greeks show they've clocked a pretty woman by stroking their fingers across their own chins.’
    • ‘Like the time in Canada, when he clocked a gorgeous fan in the hotel.’
    • ‘He recalls turning up at the Mallorca training ground and clocking first-team players arriving stylishly in their shiny Ferraris.’
    • ‘Our visit was complicated by the alert staff having clocked me as soon as I walked through the door.’
    • ‘I've clocked him for a while now; I chatted to him for a little bit.’
    observe, perceive, note, see, become aware of, discern, detect, spot, distinguish, catch sight of, make out, take notice of, mark, remark
    View synonyms
  • 3British informal Hit (someone), especially on the head.

    ‘someone clocked him for no good reason’
    • ‘I spun around and clocked him in the fist with my big hand, then swooped in low for an uppercut with my little hand.’
    • ‘The sucker clocks me good on the left cheek-bone.’
    • ‘There was still a tender spot there from when Henley had clocked him, but he couldn't remember where he'd gotten it.’
    • ‘He remembers another prisoner clocking him with an iron pipe.’
    • ‘Jayde looks to the thug that clocked him and responds with a flurry of punches, almost as if he has gone berserk.’
    • ‘She'd clocked him once in the face when he came out to apologize.’
    • ‘‘Busy night,’ Noah said lightly, lifting his arm slightly to avoid clocking an elder gentlemen in the head.’
    • ‘And I'm going to clock the next person I hear quote the old Chinese proverb ‘may we live in interesting times’.’
    • ‘He looked around, his own arms hanging at his sides, but ready to clock the first person who laid a hand on him.’
    • ‘I clocked him in the back of the head and Taylor said ‘so there’ again.’
    • ‘Fine, I hope she clocks him one right on the nose, we've got to be moving in a minute.’
    • ‘You clocked me in the midst of a fight that shouldn't even have happened, and all you can think about is yourself?’
    • ‘He would at least describe the wench who'd clocked him with a trunk.’
    • ‘I walked quickly and quietly up to the corner and took out a small bat, waiting for the guard to pass by to clock him over the head.’
    • ‘It took me only a few beats of a pause to realize Marilyn clocked me hard with her own fist.’
    • ‘One of these days someone was going to call his bluff and leap over that desk to clock him one.’
    • ‘He clocked me but by that time they had already smashed the front of the shop door.’
    • ‘I jerked upright in bed and clocked him in the jaw and we quickly returned to the floor in a brotherly-scuffle once more.’
    • ‘Well, he was laughing anyway, until I clocked him.’
    • ‘Only thing Doc could shoot out was his fist though, which he did, clocking the patient to the back of his head.’
  • 4British informal Wind back the milometer of (a car) illegally in order to make the vehicle appear to have travelled fewer miles than it really has.

    ‘beware of motorists who clock their car before selling it’
    ‘they had sold clocked vehicles’
    • ‘I have never, ever seen a vehicle with ‘This vehicle is clocked.’’
    • ‘In the mid-1990s he was fined for clocking cars and, more recently, was convicted of a passport fraud.’
    • ‘If a car looks dogged and tired, but the odometer is only showing an average mileage then it is likely that the vehicle in question has been clocked.’
    • ‘A Bedford second hand car dealership is being investigated by Trading Standards for selling clocked cars.’
    • ‘There may be hundreds of these vehicles that have been clocked and sold on.’

Phrases

  • round (or around) the clock

    • All day and all night.

      ‘I've got a team working around the clock’
      as adjective ‘round-the-clock surveillance’
      • ‘Meanwhile Glasgow City Council has pledged that staff will continue to work around the clock to ease road and footpath problems.’
      • ‘The containers continued to arrive around the clock for the next several days.’
      • ‘The second day, we could have legitimately reported flights were taking off round the clock day and night.’
      • ‘Jointing on the first cables will begin shortly and will continue round the clock.’
      • ‘Work is going on round the clock to ensure the opening night goes as planned.’
      • ‘Doctors and surgeons are working around the clock as the injured continue to arrive from outlying areas.’
      • ‘We fought around the clock and continued to support the Marines as they cleared houses.’
      • ‘For the last four days, a team of more than 400 workers has operated around the clock to ready the city for its big night.’
      • ‘Employers argue that hospitals are busy around the clock and learning takes place throughout the day and night.’
      • ‘Flood prevention workers continue to patrol the dam around the clock.’
  • turn (or put) back the clock

    • Return to the past or to a previous way of doing things.

      ‘we can't turn the clock back—what's happened has happened’
      ‘no revolution can turn the clock back and abolish industry’
      • ‘At a leisurely lunch in New York's romantic Cafe des Artistes, customers were quick to credit red wine with turning back the clock.’
      • ‘The cows are coming home to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, turning back the clock 40 years.’
      • ‘Now his music-loving supporters are flocking to his new venture in which he is turning back the clock.’
      • ‘As time runs out for Livingston, others are turning back the clock.’
      • ‘They want basically to run out the clock on the ground and to turn back the clock on the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘She wishes she could turn back the clock and return to the innocence of childhhood.’
      • ‘Inspired by Strauss's hatred for liberal modernity, its goal is to turn back the clock on the liberal revolution and its achievements.’
      • ‘‘We're not in the business of turning back the clock,’ he says.’
      • ‘I'm not saying we should turn the clock back 50 or 60 years.’
      • ‘This does not imply turning back the clock, or reimposing the social constraints of the past.’
  • watch the clock

    • (of an employee) be overly strict or zealous about not working more than one's required hours.

      ‘when people are accountable, they stop watching the clock’
      • ‘Show up on time, don't watch the clock, keep busy.’
      • ‘One sign that I love my job is that I never watch the clock.’
      • ‘So I watch the clock, longing for lunch hour, when I might be able to run an errand or at least do some yoga.’
      • ‘How many jobs are there where individuals are just watching the clock until they can scamper home?’
      • ‘They never watched the clock, never dreaded Mondays, never worried about the years passing by.’
      • ‘I tried this and actually zipped through an hour's worth of work while watching the clock for both my next break and my next flash of work.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • clock in

    • Register one's arrival at work by means of an automatic recording clock.

      ‘staff should clock in on arrival’
      • ‘The New Year's first arrival to Colchester clocked in at 2.25 am.’
      • ‘Biometric readers can also help prevent employee ghosting, where one employee clocks in an absent or late coworker by swiping his or her card.’
      • ‘If consultants accept this deal, it is only a matter of time before they will be clocking in and out with the cleaning and catering staff.’
      • ‘The designated boxes are commonly found wherever employees clock in, she said.’
      • ‘Makeup must be worn at all times when working; employees should clock in only after changing and putting on makeup.’
      • ‘The software and terminals can be linked with biometric equipment to verify the identity of all who electronically clock in.’
      • ‘Even if people don't have to religiously clock in and out each and every day.’
      • ‘In one supply factory, workers were reportedly ordered not to clock in on Sunday to avoid detection of overtime hours.’
      • ‘That morning he had trouble sleeping and clocked in half an hour early at Northern Straw.’
      • ‘When an employee clocks in or out, the employee scans his or her identification badge and a barcode representing the job the person is doing.’
      • ‘The legal staff that clock in at the Fitzroy centre display a fervent commitment to their job, which goes beyond the ‘pail’ of money.’
      • ‘The other supervising waitress had already clocked in and was on duty.’
      • ‘He was still staring at me when I walked in and clocked in on the register.’
      • ‘It is freedom from the morning commute, clocking in and out, tea breaks, and overtime.’
      • ‘She was fired some three months ago after protesting against the company's policy of forcing employees to work overtime while not clocked in.’
      • ‘I've heard plenty of reports of people clocking in for friends who are off driving taxis around Heathrow.’
      • ‘Jefferson County, Alabama is calling time on fraudulent overtime claims by making non-salaried employees clock in with their fingerprints.’
      • ‘The first were time card machines in the early 20th century, which automated factory workers clocking in and out.’
      • ‘Softworks is one of the few companies in the world to facilitate an honour-based company culture where employees do not clock in.’
      • ‘Workers who clock in while ill cost their employers 20 percent more per day than employees who take time off.’
  • clock out

    • Register one's departure from work by means of an automatic recording clock.

      ‘the night shift were clocking off’
      • ‘Workers on the first and second shifts followed suit by clocking out two hours early as well.’
      • ‘You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five.’
      • ‘I don't wake up in the morning, clock in at nine and clock out again at five.’
      • ‘Miners at troubled Hatfield Colliery near Doncaster have clocked out for the last time.’
      • ‘I count out my drawer in record time and barely remember to clock out before I rush through the store and out the front doors.’
      • ‘When the student workers clocked out, this group was still defiantly seated in the same place, tables still soiled.’
      • ‘Mr Stead said all four workmates clocked out from Tyco Plastics in Armytage Road, Brighouse at 7.53 pm on August 2 last year.’
      • ‘I never clocked off at weekends or holidays and it's the same with farming.’
      • ‘We may end up clocking in and clocking out, so let's tie the employer down.’
      • ‘Sadly, on Friday, November 7, he clocked out for the last time.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch klocke, based on medieval Latin clocca ‘bell’.

Pronunciation

clock

/klɒk/

Main definitions of clock in English

: clock1clock2

clock2

noun

  • An ornamental pattern woven or embroidered on the side of a stocking or sock near the ankle.

    • ‘She wears her original outfit of fleecy jacket with embroidered clock.’
    • ‘The Spanish made socks from knitted silk and embroidered them with clock emblems.’
    • ‘I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

clock

/klɒk/