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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘They have been replaced, often, with municipal 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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘These are people who long ago recognised that the time-servers of the existing political parties had nothing for them and their passions.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Forty years ago, academic time-servers could expect to move up through the ranks as a matter of course.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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’.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘‘Government is frequently disparaged as an inefficient bureaucratic maze serving the interests of officeholders and time-servers rather than of the public,’ he wrote.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Both men are time-servers who, at a single nod from the conqueror, will sink into primitive obscurity.’
- ‘It is run by real journalists rather than UN time-servers.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Private investigators are infiltrating Scottish firms to identify ambitious high-flyers and talentless time-servers for companies planning takeovers.’
- ‘That said, a long-serving backbencher who never asks the government anything is probably a strong hint that they are a talentless time-server.’
- ‘He is a time-server, the perfect Lieutenant Governor.’
- ‘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.’
2A person who changes their views to suit the prevailing circumstances or fashion.
equivocator, trimmer, vicar of brayView synonyms
- ‘On his rise through the administrative hierarchy he had acquired the reputation of a slippery time-server with naked ambitions.’
- ‘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.’
A server that distributes synchronized time information to all members of a network.
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