27 Idioms for Time: Making Sense of Moments


Time is a concept that rules our lives, and we often find ourselves expressing its elusive nature through idioms.

Idioms are phrases that convey a different meaning than their literal interpretation. In this listicle, we’ll explore some common idioms related to time, unraveling their meanings, and providing examples to make it all crystal clear.

idioms for time

What is an Idiom for Time?

Idioms for time are expressions that use time-related words to convey a particular meaning.

These phrases often highlight the fleeting nature of time, the urgency of certain situations, or the wisdom gained through experience. Let’s dive into the world of idioms and discover the stories they tell.


0%
0 votes, 0 avg
9
Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

Take this quiz and find out how good your English is. Pass and receive an “English Language Level Placement” certificate.

1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

Enter your name and email to receive your certificate.

Your score is

The average score is 14%

0%


IdiomMeaningIn a Sentence
Against the ClockRacing against time, usually with a deadline looming.She worked against the clock to finish her homework before dinner.
In the Nick of TimeJust in time, at the last possible moment.He arrived at the bus stop in the nick of time before the bus pulled away.
Kill TimeTo do something to make time pass, usually during a wait.They played games to kill time during the long flight delay.
Beat the ClockTo finish something before a deadline.The chef managed to beat the clock and serve dinner on time.
Time FliesTime passes quickly.As they chatted, time flew, and suddenly it was midnight.
Better Late Than NeverIt’s better to arrive or do something late than not at all.He apologized for being late, but they reassured him, “Better late than never!”
In the Long RunConsidering the future or the ultimate outcome.Saving money might seem hard now, but it pays off in the long run.
Mark TimeTo wait in one place without progressing.While waiting for her friend, she marked time by reading a book.
Race Against TimeWorking urgently against a deadline or limited time.The team was in a constant race against time to finish the project.
Once in a Blue MoonSomething that happens very rarely.They only visited their grandparents’ farm once in a blue moon.
Borrowed TimeLiving on borrowed time means living beyond an expected or usual life span.After surviving the accident, they felt like they were on borrowed time.
Crunch TimeThe period of time just before a project or task must be completed.It’s crunch time before the exams, and everyone is studying hard.
Behind the TimesOutdated or not keeping up with current trends.Using a flip phone might be considered behind the times nowadays.
Ahead of One’s TimeBeing innovative and ahead of current trends or technology.Her invention was ahead of its time and revolutionized the industry.
In the MeantimeDuring the time between two events or while waiting for something.The pizza was taking longer than expected, so they played a game in the meantime.
Time is MoneyTime is valuable, and wasting time is like wasting money.The efficient businessman always emphasized, “Time is money!”
In No TimeVery quickly or soon.With teamwork, they finished the project in no time.
Out of TimeRunning out of time, reaching a deadline or limit.As the bell rang, he realized he was out of time for the test.
Third Time’s a CharmAfter two unsuccessful attempts, the third one is expected to succeed.They hoped the saying was true as they attempted the difficult task for the third time.
Have a Whale of a TimeHaving an extremely enjoyable or exciting time.At the theme park, the kids had a whale of a time on the roller coasters.
Time and Tide Wait for No ManOpportunities or the right time won’t wait for anyone.He realized he needed to take action because time and tide wait for no man.
In the Eleventh HourAt the last possible moment, often right before it’s too late.The decision to cancel the event was made in the eleventh hour due to bad weather.
Time Heals All WoundsOver time, emotional pain will fade.Although it hurts now, remember that time heals all wounds.
All in Good TimeEverything will happen when the time is right.Patience, my friend, all in good time.
A Stitch in Time Saves NineFixing a problem early prevents it from getting worse.Repairing the leak immediately was a stitch in time that saved a major plumbing disaster.
A Watched Pot Never BoilsWhen you’re impatient, things seem to take longer.Stop checking the oven; a watched pot never boils!
In the Fullness of TimeEventually, when the right time comes.She knew that, in the fullness of time, she would achieve her dreams.

Metaphors help us grasp the concept of time, like comparing it to a river constantly flowing. To find more metaphors for time, you can visit this link: Metaphors for Time. Similarly, similes make time more relatable by comparing it to something we understand, such as saying it passes like a snail’s pace. Explore additional similes for time here: Similes for Time.

Idioms for Time

1. Against the Clock

Meaning: Racing against time, usually with a deadline looming.

In a Sentence: She worked against the clock to finish her homework before dinner.

2. In the Nick of Time

Meaning: Just in time, at the last possible moment.

In a Sentence: He arrived at the bus stop in the nick of time before the bus pulled away.

3. Kill Time

Meaning: To do something to make time pass, usually during a wait.

In a Sentence: They played games to kill time during the long flight delay.

4. Beat the Clock

Meaning: To finish something before a deadline.

In a Sentence: The chef managed to beat the clock and serve dinner on time.

5. Time Flies

Meaning: Time passes quickly.

In a Sentence: As they chatted, time flew, and suddenly it was midnight.

6. Better Late Than Never

Meaning: It’s better to arrive or do something late than not at all.

In a Sentence: He apologized for being late, but they reassured him, “Better late than never!”

7. In the Long Run

Meaning: Considering the future or the ultimate outcome.

In a Sentence: Saving money might seem hard now, but it pays off in the long run.

8. Mark Time

Meaning: To wait in one place without progressing.

In a Sentence: While waiting for her friend, she marked time by reading a book.

9. Race Against Time

Meaning: Working urgently against a deadline or limited time.

In a Sentence: The team was in a constant race against time to finish the project.

10. Once in a Blue Moon

Meaning: Something that happens very rarely.

In a Sentence: They only visited their grandparents’ farm once in a blue moon.

11. Borrowed Time

Meaning: Living on borrowed time means living beyond an expected or usual life span.

In a Sentence: After surviving the accident, they felt like they were on borrowed time.

12. Crunch Time

Meaning: The period of time just before a project or task must be completed.

In a Sentence: It’s crunch time before the exams, and everyone is studying hard.

13. Behind the Times

Meaning: Outdated or not keeping up with current trends.

In a Sentence: Using a flip phone might be considered behind the times nowadays.

14. Ahead of One’s Time

Meaning: Being innovative and ahead of current trends or technology.

In a Sentence: Her invention was ahead of its time and revolutionized the industry.

15. In the Meantime

Meaning: During the time between two events or while waiting for something.

In a Sentence: The pizza was taking longer than expected, so they played a game in the meantime.

16. Time is Money

Meaning: Time is valuable, and wasting time is like wasting money.

In a Sentence: The efficient businessman always emphasized, “Time is money!”

17. In No Time

Meaning: Very quickly or soon.

In a Sentence: With teamwork, they finished the project in no time.

18. Out of Time

Meaning: Running out of time, reaching a deadline or limit.

In a Sentence: As the bell rang, he realized he was out of time for the test.

19. Third Time’s a Charm

Meaning: After two unsuccessful attempts, the third one is expected to succeed.

In a Sentence: They hoped the saying was true as they attempted the difficult task for the third time.

20. Have a Whale of a Time

Meaning: Having an extremely enjoyable or exciting time.

In a Sentence: At the theme park, the kids had a whale of a time on the roller coasters.

21. Time and Tide Wait for No Man

Meaning: Opportunities or the right time won’t wait for anyone.

In a Sentence: He realized he needed to take action because time and tide wait for no man.

22. In the Eleventh Hour

Meaning: At the last possible moment, often right before it’s too late.

In a Sentence: The decision to cancel the event was made in the eleventh hour due to bad weather.

23. Time Heals All Wounds

Meaning: Over time, emotional pain will fade.

In a Sentence: Although it hurts now, remember that time heals all wounds.

24. All in Good Time

Meaning: Everything will happen when the time is right.

In a Sentence: Patience, my friend, all in good time.

25. A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Meaning: Fixing a problem early prevents it from getting worse.

In a Sentence: Repairing the leak immediately was a stitch in time that saved a major plumbing disaster.

26. A Watched Pot Never Boils

Meaning: When you’re impatient, things seem to take longer.

In a Sentence: Stop checking the oven; a watched pot never boils!

27. In the Fullness of Time

Meaning: Eventually, when the right time comes.

In a Sentence: She knew that, in the fullness of time, she would achieve her dreams.

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

Quiz 1: Against the Clock

  1. What does the idiom “Against the Clock” mean?
    • A. Working with a clock
    • B. Racing against time
    • C. Time management at work
  2. In which situation would you most likely work against the clock?
    • A. Having a leisurely afternoon
    • B. Taking your time on a project
    • C. Facing a tight deadline
  3. Use “Against the Clock” in a sentence.

Quiz 2: In the Nick of Time

  1. What does the idiom “In the Nick of Time” mean?
    • A. Always on time
    • B. Just in time, at the last possible moment
    • C. Time management skills
  2. When might someone arrive “In the Nick of Time”?
    • A. An hour early
    • B. After the event has started
    • C. Right before it’s too late
  3. Use “In the Nick of Time” in a sentence.

Quiz 3: Kill Time

  1. What does the idiom “Kill Time” mean?
    • A. Wasting time
    • B. Making time pass, usually during a wait
    • C. Efficient use of time
  2. How might someone kill time during a long wait?
    • A. Rushing through a book
    • B. Playing games
    • C. Ignoring the passage of time
  3. Use “Kill Time” in a sentence.

Quiz 4: Time Flies

  1. What does the idiom “Time Flies” mean?
  • A. Time passes slowly
  • B. Time passes quickly
  • C. Time is frozen
  1. In what situation might you use “Time Flies”?
  • A. During an exciting event
  • B. While waiting for something
  • C. When time seems to drag on
  1. Use “Time Flies” in a sentence.

Quiz 5: Better Late Than Never

  1. What does the idiom “Better Late Than Never” mean?
  • A. Punctuality is essential
  • B. It’s better to arrive or do something late than not at all
  • C. Early is on time, on time is late
  1. When might you say “Better Late Than Never”?
  • A. Arriving exactly on time
  • B. Apologizing for a delay
  • C. Leaving early for an event
  1. Use “Better Late Than Never” in a sentence.

Quiz 6: In the Long Run

  1. What does the idiom “In the Long Run” mean?
  • A. Considering the immediate future
  • B. Considering the ultimate outcome
  • C. A short-term perspective
  1. When might you think “In the Long Run”?
  • A. When planning for the week
  • B. When thinking about future consequences
  • C. In the spur of the moment
  1. Use “In the Long Run” in a sentence.

Quiz 7: Mark Time

  1. What does the idiom “Mark Time” mean?
  • A. Keeping track of time
  • B. To wait in one place without progressing
  • C. To set a schedule for the day
  1. In what situation might you mark time?
  • A. While traveling
  • B. While waiting for someone
  • C. During a productive day
  1. Use “Mark Time” in a sentence.

Quiz 8: Race Against Time

  1. What does the idiom “Race Against Time” mean?
  • A. Leisurely time spent in a race
  • B. Urgently working against a deadline or limited time
  • C. A timed competition
  1. When might you find yourself in a race against time?
  • A. During a vacation
  • B. When no deadlines are looming
  • C. When facing a tight schedule
  1. Use “Race Against Time” in a sentence.

Quiz 9: Once in a Blue Moon

  1. What does the idiom “Once in a Blue Moon” mean?
  • A. Every night
  • B. Something that happens very rarely
  • C. Every month
  1. When might you use “Once in a Blue Moon”?
  • A. For daily occurrences
  • B. When describing a rare event
  • C. During regular activities
  1. Use “Once in a Blue Moon” in a sentence.

Quiz 10: Borrowed Time

  1. What does the idiom “Borrowed Time” mean?
  • A. Time borrowed from a friend
  • B. Living on borrowed money
  • C. Living beyond an expected or usual life span
  1. In what situation might someone be living on borrowed time?
  • A. After a great meal
  • B. After surviving an accident
  • C. During a vacation
  1. Use “Borrowed Time” in a sentence.

Conclusion

Idioms for time add color to our conversations, turning the ordinary tick-tock of the clock into a canvas of expressions. So, next time you find yourself racing against the clock or waiting in the meantime, remember these idioms and let time speak its unique language.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • 25 Metaphors For Love

    25 Metaphors For Love

    Love, a complex and multifaceted emotion, has been a timeless subject of exploration and expression. One way humans have sought to understand and convey the nuances of love is through…

    Read more

  • 17 Metaphors For Life + Quiz

    17 Metaphors For Life + Quiz

    Navigating the complexities of life often requires a metaphorical lens through which we can view our experiences. Metaphors for life provide a rich tapestry of imagery that encapsulates the essence…

    Read more