Definition of nine-to-five in US English:



  • Used in reference to typical hours of work in an office, often to express an idea of routine or predictability.

    ‘a nine-to-five job’
    • ‘If your favourite part of the nine-to-five routine is lunchtime, maybe it's time to give your tired, typing hands something tasty to cook up.’
    • ‘If I worked on it non-stop, like a nine-to-five job, one page start to finish would take me about a week.’
    • ‘As a five-year-old dreads a visit to the dentist or as a student fears the day when the reality of nine-to-five employment will finally beckon, footballers enter their pre - season training phase with a high level of trepidation.’
    • ‘He views his training as a fulltime job, and I respect that nine-to-five mentality.’
    • ‘They were stuck in their boring nine-to-five day jobs, but he'd achieve more than that.’
    • ‘It should allow them to become accustomed to the nine-to-five routine of their future adopted parents.’
    • ‘It hasn't been this way for long - less than a year ago the very idea of starting a non-freelance nine-to-five kind of job filled me with horror.’
    • ‘Either job would offer contact with people and a working day less mundane than a nine-to-five office job.’
    • ‘Sault Sainte Marie, a northern-tier border town surrounded by water, unproductive farmland, and national forests, is not on a typical nine-to-five office schedule.’
    • ‘They seek a half-hearted return to the post-war ‘New Deal,’ naively hoping decent paying nine-to-five factory jobs can thrive again in the era of neo-liberalism.’
    • ‘The world of music could have been denied the voice of Clare Teal and she could have settled into the mundane life of the nine-to-five office world, but once again luck was on her side.’
    • ‘There are five main alternatives to the standard five-day, nine-to-five week: job sharing, telecommuting, compressed time, flextime and part-time work.’
    • ‘But, unlike his siblings, he didn't have any office to report to, no nine-to-five hours to keep, no boss to answer.’
    • ‘Social workers reacted angrily to the idea that there was any kind of nine-to-five culture among staff.’
    • ‘You might have daydreamed for years about being your own boss, running your own business, having visions of chucking in the nine-to-five routine and doing your own thing.’
    • ‘We arrived home 2 ½ hours later than the average nine-to-five office worker.’
    • ‘Phil's workplace is enough to make any wage-slave stuck in a nine-to-five office job green with envy.’
    • ‘Now 24, he hasn't known a single period of unemployment since, which, for an actor, is as close as you get to a nine-to-five bank manager's job.’
    • ‘In quieter corners, those who rush through their nine-to-five routines discover a moment of connection.’
    • ‘As an example, a golfer who wins a tournament in the United States can earn more in four days than the average Australian takes home from more than 20 years of nine-to-five toil.’


  • A nine-to-five job.

    • ‘And for the past few weeks Mendez has been running a creative Christmas craft workshop from the boardroom of Cannings Credit Union, where this artsy lady holds down a regular nine-to-five.’
    • ‘OK, so you want to leave nine-to-five behind and launch a whole new gig as an outfitter or a yoga instructor or, well, you're really not sure.’
    • ‘Well, when I'm not singing-'cause now I don't work a nine-to-five anymore, I'm singing for a living and have been for four or five years-I'll go twice a week if I can swing it.’
    • ‘‘I've done nine-to-fives and there's nothing wrong with them ’, Gervais says, ‘but you don't live to work: you live for the evenings and weekends, and have other ambitions’.’
    • ‘‘I went from school to university to being in a group, and sometimes I wonder if I've missed out on stuff you get with the nine-to-five,’ says Love.’
    • ‘I know I'm going to have to devote a lot of my free time to looking for a job, but there's a big gap in my mindscape where the nine-to-five used to be, and that feels extraordinarily liberating.’
    • ‘It's a corner in the kitchen or bedroom where we've managed to shoehorn household bills, paperwork brought home from the nine-to-five and often a computer.’
    • ‘Like most of his fellow adventurers, he is fleeing not just the confines of class and England but those of home and hearth - the wife and kids, the nine-to-five - as well.’
    • ‘She meets a York woman who has swapped the nine-to-five to make Christmas cakes and puddings full-time from home.’
    • ‘Now, almost ten years later, I've got a nine-to-five (in the action sports industry) so when I squeeze 25 days out of the season I'm stoked.’
    • ‘‘We would meet at six o'clock after our nine-to-fives and say: ‘How was your day, honey?’’
    • ‘I'm planning at the moment to leave the nine-to-five in the City.’
    • ‘I've never thought of doing a normal job - I could never do a nine-to-five.’