Definition of mark time in US English:

mark time


  • 1(of troops) march on the spot without moving forward.

    • ‘I had them mark time and started them off marching down the trail that led to the football field.’
    • ‘Still, some steps are better than just marking time in place, right?’
    • ‘He blew his whistle, signaling for the band to mark time.’
    1. 1.1 Pass one's time in routine activities until a more favorable or interesting opportunity presents itself.
      • ‘Black can't improve his position so he marks time.’
      • ‘At her worst, Gilda comes off as a whinier Lucille Ball, and we mark time until the next skit.’
      • ‘‘I would mark time during ballet, jazz, and acrobatics and wait for tap,’ she says.’
      • ‘The response confirmed to him that the crowd was enjoying what the augmented DJs were doing and there was no sense that everyone was just marking time until the headliners came on.’
      • ‘Do you love what you're doing or are you just marking time until that record deal goes through?’
      • ‘The secondary has to find out and the kids with a high-level D have to mark time until those without catch up.’
      • ‘In the short term the markets are still nervous and will mark time until the outlook for the US becomes more certain.’
      • ‘But he's only marking time until he can return to New Orleans.’
      • ‘It's also probably bad news for developers, because they'll have to mark time until whenever ‘early’ is.’
      • ‘It was as if they just wanted to mark time until the final whistle and take the win.’