Definition of tick something off in English:

tick something off

phrasal verb

British
  • 1Mark an item in a list with a tick to show that it has been dealt with:

    ‘I ticked several items off my ‘to do’ list’
    • ‘But as for the diving, it is like ticking off entries in I Spy Underwater.’
    • ‘Her clipboard-wielding colleague Alan Greenlees demonstrates how this works, diligently scrutinising and ticking off trays of shells.’
    • ‘I haven't ticked too many off just yet but many things are planned for very soon.’
    • ‘Sipping bottled water before the concert in Huntington in March, he ticked off a long list of luminaries with whom he had worked.’
    • ‘Mr Howarth said: "We had a leaflet on meningitis and when we ticked off the symptoms the alarm bells started ringing".’
    • ‘things are slowly being ticked off of the list.’
    • ‘So, start ticking the days off, as come the year 2004, Shane will no longer be a single man.’
    • ‘You record and tick things off in the anecdote album.’
    • ‘They didn't make any effort to tick people off the voters' list or stop them voting twice.’
    • ‘Then it is ticked off a list of all birds found in this country.’
  • 2List items one by one in one's mind or during a speech:

    ‘he ticked the points off on his fingers’
    • ‘Which was obviously not a good idea, because as soon as my dad began, aunty Lanya kind of took over the conversation and began to tick things off on her fingers as she went through a mental list in her head.’
    • ‘She ticked these things off like necessary items on a shopping list and as quickly forgot them.’
    • ‘She drolly ticks off a list of other claims to the first Thanksgiving in the United States: the explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541 in the Texas Panhandle.’
    • ‘Speaking of bad reporting: Rob Garver ticks off a list of just some of the mistakes William Safire made in his column in The New York Times.’
    • ‘Puzzled, he looked around their small room, mentally ticking things off.’
    • ‘He had been ticking the items off on his fingers with the air of a housewife listing tasks yet to be done; now he laced the fingers behind his head and sighed vastly.’
    • ‘The officer was going down a mental list and ticking the items off on his fingers. ‘… possession of drugs, possession of illegal weapons and technology, and assaulting an officer of the North American army.’
    • ‘She stood stock still in the middle of the room and stared intensely at nothing, at nothing you could see anyway, and then she started ticking things off on her fingers.’
    • ‘Gibbons then ticks off a list of things that would have to change between land mammals and marine mammals, ignoring all of the fossil evidence after Pakicetus.’
    • ‘Charlie Kernaghan constantly ticks off a list of his failings and limits and terrors.’
    • ‘‘Well, she's really small, absolutely gorgeous, drives a hot car, goes by animal names, loud, bossy,’ Samuel listed, ticking each description off on a new finger.’