15 idioms related to time
Check out these 15 popular idioms related to time with their meaning and an example.
Meaning: Time passes extremely quickly
Example: Look how fast our children grew up, how time flies.
It’s high time
Meaning: It’s the right time to do something, or past the appropriate time to do something.
Example: It’s high time he met with me to resolve this issue.
Third time’s a charm
Meaning: The third time you do something it will finally work.
Example: I had to ask her out three times before she said yes. Well you know… Third time’s a charm.
Beat the clock
Meaning: Finish something before time is up, before a deadline.
Example: Although she was late to the exam, she managed to beat the clock and finished all of it 10 minutes before the end.
Better late than never
Meaning: Doing something late is better than not doing it at all. It can be used sarcastically if someone is very late.
Example: Well hello John. Better late than never, huh? Class started half an hour ago.
At the eleventh hour
Meaning: Almost too late or at the last possible moment.
Example: We barely made the deadline, there was so much to do in this project we turned it in at the eleventh hour.
In the long run
Meaning: In the long term, over a long period of time.
Example: I hate having so much after school activities now, but I know in the long run this will be beneficial for me.
Make up for lost time
Meaning: To catch up, to do something intensely to make up for a long period of not doing it.
Example: Where have you been for so long? I ran into Katie, we had to make up for lost time and talked for hours.
In the nick of time
Meaning: at the last possible moment, just before it’s too late.
Example: I made it to the wedding in the nick of time, I almost missed the ceremony.
Ship has sailed
Meaning: A lost opportunity, missed shot.
Example: I should call Annie, I’ve been thinking about her lately. Sorry Chad, that ship has sailed. She got married last month.
Around the clock
Meaning: for 24 hours, without stopping.
Example: I know it’s very late, but I really feel ill. Do you know which pharmacy is open around the clock?
Call it a day
Meaning: To finish working on something, a day’s work’s been completed.
Example: We’ve been working for a long time on this with no progress. Let’s call it a day and come with new ideas tomorrow.
In one stroke
Meaning: Immediately, at the same time.
Example: I went out to run errands and managed to do everything on one stroke.
Not born yesterday
Meaning: Experienced, not naïve or easily fooled.
Example: You can’t expect me to believe that the vase broke itself. I wasn’t born yesterday, you were playing ball with the dog in the house again!
On someone’s watch
Meaning: during the time that someone is in charge, while someone is on duty.
Example: Mark has got a bruise on his leg again. Why do kids always get hurt on your watch?