Definition of punch the (time) clock in US English:

punch the (time) clock

phrase

North American
  • 1(of an employee) punch in or out.

    • ‘Be ready to work, in every respect, before you punch the time clock.’
    • ‘That way, when it's time to punch the clock, you'll be ready to indulge in these other ‘me time’ tips.’
    • ‘He denied the charges, pointing out that he had spoken to his supervisor and punched the time clock.’
    • ‘The police and fire unions promised Saidel their members would continue punching the clock.’
    • ‘They wax rhapsodic about the pleasure of no longer having to commute or punch the time clock.’
    • ‘When I first met her, she was punching the clock as a foreman welder at a North Vancouver metal shop.’
    • ‘I've punched the clock from 9-5 for twenty-five years for the corporation.’
    • ‘So not only will vacationing workers receive their normal day's pay, but those who are compelled to punch the clock on Friday will receive a little extra cash for their trouble.’
    • ‘Generally speaking, workers didn't start punching the clock because they were forced to but because they wanted to.’
    • ‘So it's not like, punch the clock and let me out of my cubicle/prison?’
    1. 1.1 Be employed in a conventional job with regular hours.
      • ‘My work schedule is very elastic; I don't have to go to meetings, I don't have to punch the clock, I don't have to have my butt in a chair between certain hours.’
      • ‘At least McGillivary and Barnes punched the clock for a couple of years.’
      • ‘But finally, I got away from punching the clock.’
      • ‘Perhaps that's because 50 percent of workers today expect to continue punching the clock after ‘retirement,’ whereas just 22 percent of today's retirees still have some sort of gig.’