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Phrases With the Word: TIME

Updated on June 21, 2012

Common Uses of Time in Every Day Conversation

Time is a concept familiar to everyone. So much so that it permeates daily conversation. Yet, it has more meanings than almost any other word in the dictionary. At last count, there were 14 different definitions for this word. To convey individual meanings, the English language has developed multiple phrases. Also known as idioms, these phrases attempt to convey the many meanings of the word, time. The following list of phrases contain the word, time, or reference the passage of time.

For list fanatics, struggling writers or those fascinated with the concept of time, this list is an excellent reference of time idioms.

Long Time, No See!
Long Time, No See!

Phrases (A thru G)

a good time was had by all - enjoy a meeting or get-together

a hard time - difficult or challenging activity

a matter of time - inevitable

a race against time - in a hurry to beat a schedule

a race against the clock - in a rush to accomplish something before a deadline

a stitch in time - something happens for the good to eliminate or delay disaster

about time - arrival at destination well after other parties

About time too! - realization occurs much later than expected

ahead of time - arrival earlier than scheduled

all in good time - things happen at their own pace

all the time - consistent behavior

all the time in the world - no hurry or rush to finish

appear at 'some time' - to arrive at a scheduled place at the time agreed upon, such as 1:30 sharp

arrange for some time - make appointment to hold a meeting

arrive on the stroke of 'some time' - usually at the top of the hour, such as midnight

at a set time - a fixed, agreed upon time of occurrence

at a time - usually prefixed by a number to indicate how many events will occur simultaneously

at no time - never

at one time - multiple events occur simultaneously

at one time or another - eventually

at 'some time' sharp - an event will occur exactly at the time stated

at the appointed time - an event will occur at a scheduled time in the future

at the present time - now

at the same time - simultaneous

be before 'some time' - arrive early

be in the right place at the right time - lucky

be only a matter of time - inevitable

before time - reference to history before events were recorded

Better luck next time - sorry, condolences

bide time - delay action until a more opportune time

big time - pinnacle of success

busiest men have the most leisure time - men who know how to get things done

buy on time - installment plan

catch you at a bad time? - polite way to ask someone if they are busy

Catch me later - goodbye until next time

do time - jail or incarceration

do you have the time? - what does your watch or clock show as the current time of day

Don't waste your time - activity is worthless

every time you turn around - indication of consistent behavior

fight against time - too much to do in time allocated for activity

find the time - make an effort to schedule an activity

for the moment - temporarily

for the time being - behavior is acceptable until something changes

from time immemorial - forever

from time to time - occasionally

give a hard time - argue or contradict someone in a joking manner

give a rough time - same as hard time

Give it time - patience

give the time of day - not worth the effort

go down for the third time - last chance

Good-bye for now - end of activity with hope of future meeting

Time Springs Eternal
Time Springs Eternal

Phrases (H thru R)

had a nice time - activity was pleasant

half the time - activity could be performed faster

hardly have time to breathe - so busy that there is no time to handle normal tasks

hardly have time to think - too busy to react

Have a good time - best wishes for a pleasant experience

have a hard time - difficulty

have a lot of time for 'some thing' - spending time on important activity or person

have a rare old time - things may have been better in the past

have a rough time - challenging period

have a thin time - difficulty due to a lack of money

have a whale of a time - extremely pleasant experience

have an easy time of it - no difficulty

have the time of your life - enjoy current circumstances

have time - available period to meet or perform some activity

have time on my hands - idle

have time on my side - wait for things to change in one's favor

have time to kill - waiting

have to shove off - exit or leave

haven't seen you in a long time - greeting

having a wonderful time; wish you were here - greeting from a distance

having the time of my life - experiencing the activities that one likes to do most

He puts his pants on one leg at a time - same as you and me

how time flies - time passes quickly when one enjoys current activities

I don't have time to catch my breath - too busy to perform normal duties

I had a lovely time - expression of thanks

I'm having quite a time - enjoying current activities

I've had a lovely time - expression of thanks

in due time - inevitable

in good time - inevitable

in less than no time - quickly

in next to no time - soon or quick

in no time - fast

in nothing flat - very fast

in his spare time - after work or other mandatory activities

in the fullness of time - when one is ready to proceed

in the interest of saving time - polite way to shorten a conversation or meeting

in the nick of time - activity performed just before something undesirable happens

in the right place at the right time - lucky

in the wrong place at the wrong time - unlucky

in this day and age - during recent history

in time - patience

invest time in ... - spend time in favorable activity

it is high time - now

It's about time! - finally

It's feeding time at the zoo! - crazy

It's time we should be going - exit or leave

just about time - almost

just in time - barely ahead of schedule

keep good time - right on schedule

keep time - musical term

keep until some time - hold until needed

kill time - waste

legend in his own time - popular notoriety

Life is short and time is swift - don't delay activities that you enjoy

live on borrowed time - to exist due to good fortune

living on borrowed time - to exist past an expected death

Long time no see - greeting

lose some amount of time - delay

lose time - behind schedule

lost in the mists of time - for some unknown reason

make good time - ahead of schedule

make time - speed up to meet a schedule

make time for ... - change schedule for some desired activity

make up for lost time - hurry

many's the time - often

mark time - do nothing while waiting

Maybe some other time - polite way to delay an activity

no time like the present - now

not able to call time my own - too many demands to set one's own schedule

not give anyone the time of day - too self-centered to answer a question

not give the time of day - too arrogant to speak to someone

on borrowed time - to live beyond one's expected termination

on my own time - in charge of one's schedule

on time - to be on schedule

once upon a time - fantasy

pass the time - keep busy while waiting

pass the time of day - spend time doing something

play for time - delay

pressed for time - running out of time to finish a task

Procrastination is the thief of time - delay is the enemy of accomplishing something

put an amount of time in on ... - to work on something

quality time - excellent use of time

race against time - to accomplish something before a deadline

right on time - on schedule

run out of time - unable to finish something on schedule

Sands of Time
Sands of Time

Phrases (S thru Z)

sands of time - small, accumulated amounts of time

serve time - jail

since time immemorial - history

spend time in ... - to remain in some place for a period of time

stall for time - delay

stand the test of time - proven

stitch in time saves nine - last minute task that avoids disaster

take each day as it comes - not to worry

take time off from work - go somewhere other than work place

take the time - change schedule to participate in an important activity

take your time - use as much time as necessary

take time out - suspend an activity for a break

take up time - waste someone else's time

tell time - read a watch or clock

thank you for a lovely time - expression of thanks to host or hostess

the big time - top of one's profession

the time is ripe - now or never

There is a time and a place for everything - patience

There's a time and a place - appropriate situation for an activity

There's no time like the present - now is the time for action

There's no time to lose - hurry

third time's the charm - don't give up, keep trying

time after time - over and over

time and again - very often

Time and tide wait for no man - some things are inevitable

time flies - passage of time is swift when activities are pleasant

Time flies when you're having fun

time for ... - need to take action

time for a change - need to adjust performance

time hangs heavy - slow passage of time when things are not going well

Time hangs heavy on your hands - slow passage of time when there is nothing to do

time has come - now

time in - arrival or start time

Time is a great healer - passage of time makes one feel better

Time is money - using time can be measured in monetary terms

Time is of the essence - no time for delay

time is on my side - ability to wait until events move in one's favor

time is ripe - now

Time is up - end of an activity

time off - time spent away from work activity

time off for good behavior - time earned for performing at or above expectations

time on my hands - lack of planned activities

time out - end of activity or departure

time springs eternal - there is always hope

Time to call it a day - time to end an activity

Time to call it a night - time to go home

time to catch my breath - need to slow pace of activity

time to go - exit or leave

time to hit the road - need to depart a place

time to run - exit or leave

time was - like it used to be

time will tell - the story will eventually be told

Time works wonders - passage of time has ability to heal

time's a-wastin' - no time for delay

time's up - end of an activity

Times change and we with time - people can adjust to changing situations

try to catch you some other time - notice of future meeting or contact

two-time - cheat or betray someone close to you

two-time loser - repeat offender

waste no time in ... - immediately begin an activity

when the time is ripe - delay until circumstances are in your favor

while a period of time away - do nothing while waiting

with someone for 'some time' - indication of permanent relationship

You're wasting my time - conversation has no interest to me

Helpful Links - Resources

On occasion I needed the assistance of an outside reference to better define or explain a phrase. The following resources were very helpful in completing this list.

Did I miss one? If so, let me know. The list is never complete.


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