One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who makes very little effort at work because they are waiting to leave or retire.
- ‘It is often said that the smartest unionists and staffers don't want to sit in Parliament so that is where the duds and time-servers finish up.’
- ‘The place seemed to be full of time-servers and charlatans of one sort and another, and I just didn't get on with it.’
- ‘Prime ministers have been mostly puppets, elderly time-servers who give a higher priority to loyalty, secrecy and consensus than to principle, debate and leadership.’
- ‘Though some sneered at him as a time-server and trimmer, it is extraordinary that a man could live in such turbulent times and win such widespread praise.’
- ‘He is a time-server, the perfect Lieutenant Governor.’
- ‘They have been replaced, often, with municipal time-servers.’
- ‘In the story, he presents himself at India House as a candidate for the Indian diplomatic service and is humiliated by a series of lackeys and time-servers.’
- ‘Both men are time-servers who, at a single nod from the conqueror, will sink into primitive obscurity.’
- ‘That said, a long-serving backbencher who never asks the government anything is probably a strong hint that they are a talentless time-server.’
- ‘If public institutions, from schools to government agencies, are really going to improve, we've got to be able to get rid of the time-servers and incompetents.’
- ‘Private investigators are infiltrating Scottish firms to identify ambitious high-flyers and talentless time-servers for companies planning takeovers.’
- ‘The school campaigners saw that this was dominated by a few senior hacks, time-servers who have earned their recently doubled expenses through loyal voting records.’
- ‘It is run by real journalists rather than UN time-servers.’
- ‘If the only way to get ahead in a big organization is to toe the line, then you'll end up with a stolid stratum of cautious time-servers.’
- ‘He pours derision on those who were well rewarded time-servers under Stalinism and now present themselves as heroic freedom fighters in the ‘Daily Telegraph’.’
- ‘The daily political press is filled with more than a few time-servers and many more who have difficulty seeing beyond the narrow minutiae of what they're covering or the iron chains of conventional wisdom.’
- ‘The FBI, another supposed pillar of power, had sharp and dedicated agents around the country but their warnings were ignored by time-servers in Washington.’
- ‘These are people who long ago recognised that the time-servers of the existing political parties had nothing for them and their passions.’
- ‘Forty years ago, academic time-servers could expect to move up through the ranks as a matter of course.’
- ‘‘Government is frequently disparaged as an inefficient bureaucratic maze serving the interests of officeholders and time-servers rather than of the public,’ he wrote.’
2A person who changes their views to suit the prevailing circumstances or fashion.
equivocator, trimmer, vicar of brayView synonyms
- ‘Let me make a prediction: the only change that will happen is that the current third rate time-servers will, instead of being appointed, be able to claim a democratic mandate, based on a turn out in the low twenties.’
- ‘On his rise through the administrative hierarchy he had acquired the reputation of a slippery time-server with naked ambitions.’
A server that distributes synchronized time information to all members of a network.
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