Definition of mark time in US English:

mark time


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

    • ‘He blew his whistle, signaling for the band to mark time.’
    • ‘Still, some steps are better than just marking time in place, right?’
    • ‘I had them mark time and started them off marching down the trail that led to the football field.’
    1. 1.1 Pass one's time in routine activities until a more favorable or interesting opportunity presents itself.
      • ‘But he's only marking time until he can return to New Orleans.’
      • ‘It was as if they just wanted to mark time until the final whistle and take the win.’
      • ‘At her worst, Gilda comes off as a whinier Lucille Ball, and we mark time until the next skit.’
      • ‘The secondary has to find out and the kids with a high-level D have to mark time until those without catch up.’
      • ‘‘I would mark time during ballet, jazz, and acrobatics and wait for tap,’ she says.’
      • ‘Black can't improve his position so he marks time.’
      • ‘In the short term the markets are still nervous and will mark time until the outlook for the US becomes more certain.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘It's also probably bad news for developers, because they'll have to mark time until whenever ‘early’ is.’