Definition of tick over in English:

tick over

phrasal verb

  • 1(of an engine) run slowly in neutral.

    ‘his Mercedes was waiting for him, the engine ticking over’
    • ‘Now, with a 3.2GHz processor ticking over, keeping things cool isn't particularly easy.’
    • ‘It is most content cruising at high speed, with the engine ticking over quietly - but always with the promise of immense reserves of power.’
    • ‘It really isn't possible to troll using a petrol outboard, they just can't tick over slowly enough.’
    • ‘The engine started and it ticked over perfectly.’
    • ‘He wasn't conscious of the faint sound of a car engine ticking over, a little way up the street outside.’
    idle, run slowly in neutral
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Work or function at a basic or minimum level.
      ‘they are keeping things ticking over until their father returns’
      • ‘So Robinson needs $US1.2 million a year to keep things ticking over.’
      • ‘There has been no change of any significance in the pattern of the trade on the continent over the past week with most markets remaining similar to previous weeks and the trade just ticking over.’
      • ‘This has helped keep the economy ticking over until growth picks up.’
      • ‘The Catholic Church has apologised for the inconvenience, but reminds us that such work is necessary to keep the universe ticking over smoothly.’
      • ‘It comes, of course, at a time when North Korea is struggling to get fuel to keep its economy ticking over.’
      • ‘I've barely got enough blog in me to keep this site ticking over.’
      • ‘There's also a problem in that my normal mode of thinking of stuff to write about is mostly because my mind sort of ticks over if I'm not thinking of anything particularly fiercely.’
      • ‘He had a little break after Newbury, but we've kept him ticking over since then.’
      • ‘They keep all the bits in working order, not just ticking over in a repetitious way.’
      • ‘A positive opening in the US helped keep the Footsie ticking over while traders digested a gloomy third-quarter report from Colt Telecom.’
      • ‘I think there was more pressure on me at the time because I came in to keep things ticking over for Celtic.’
      • ‘To date the US consumer has kept the economy ticking over while the manufacturing sector went into recession.’