- 1A regular short, sharp sound, especially that made by a clock or watch.More example sentences
- In a sport in which the times are measured in hundredths of a second, she beat Giove, who took second, by 20 ticks of the clock.
- Three seconds, three ticks of the clock, and the transformation from smoke to human was complete.
- By using the very basis of matter, we can define the second to be 9,192,631,770 ticks of the caesium clock.
- 1.1British • informal A moment (used especially to reassure someone that one will return or be ready very soon): I’ll be with you in a tickMore example sentences
- No, but, I mean, hang on a tick, it's how well a film can convince you of that.
- 2chiefly British A check mark.More example sentences
- A map of the Urus-Martan area is black from ticks and marks indicating ordnance.
- Each feature description also included a screenshot and a tick mark indicating whether it made significant use of graphics or not.
- Each tick mark indicates that a nucleotide within the strain differs from the consensus sequence.
- 3 Stock Market The smallest recognized amount by which a price of a security or future may fluctuate.More example sentences
- If you want to further refine the trailing buy stop technique, you can lower your buy order the next day to the level one tick above the latest price bar.
- This establishes a baseline volume for the day to which all subsequent ticks can be related.
- If the quick dose of bullishness is sustained longer than anticipated, you can raise your sell order every day to stay within a tick of the latest low.
verbBack to top
- 1 [no object] (Of a clock or other mechanical device) make regular short sharp sounds, typically one for every second of time that passes: I could hear the clock tickingMore example sentences
- All that could be heard besides the patter of raindrops against the window was the sound of the clock ticking off the seconds.
- The calendar is loaded, the meter is ticking and that damn clock has to be fast, doesn't it?
- She suddenly took notice of what sounded like a clock ticking.
- 1.1 (tick away/by/past) (Of time) pass (used especially when someone is pressed for time or keenly awaiting an event): the minutes were ticking away till the actor’s appearanceMore example sentences
pass, elapse, go, continue, advance, wear on, roll on, fly, run out, vanish
- At intervals I went to the front window to see if the sign had arrived, becoming more and more impatient as the morning passed and the afternoon ticked away.
- But as time passed and seconds slowly ticked away like eternity, Liz began to lose hope.
- The long chain of people moved irritably slow, minutes ticking by with seemingly no progress being made.
- 1.2 [with object] (tick something away) (Of a clock or watch) mark the passing of time with regular short sharp sounds: the little clock ticked the precious minutes awayMore example sentences
- Watching the clock on the wall tick seconds away, Cole realized that something was wrong about what she'd found yesterday.
- I could hear the clock ticking seconds away as the snake and spider paced restlessly between us.
- The clock slowly ticked the hours away, as I held it in my hands.
- 1.3Proceed or progress: her book was ticking along nicelyMore example sentences
- The Budget shouldn't be a giveaway, but must be ‘broadly neutral’ to keep the economy ticking along.
- Local eateries were doing very well, while the pubs seemed to be doing well also and, for business in general, things were ticking along better than last year.
- Less than 2 weeks to go now (12 days, to be exact) and everything's ticking along nicely.
- 2 [with object] chiefly British Mark (an item) with a tick or select (a box) on a computer screen to show that something has been chosen, checked, approved, or dealt with: just tick the appropriate box belowMore example sentences
- By Sun standards this is subtle stuff but the message could not be more obvious: readers are being coaxed into ticking the box marked ‘bad outweighs good’.
- Those stopped in the street and asked if they are ‘minded to make a big purchase’ will continue to tick the box marked ‘no’.
- ‘Those who consider themselves British, but have Irish roots, can still tick the Irish box’.
what makes someone tick
- • informal What motivates someone: people are curious to know what makes these men tickMore example sentences
- We're good at finding out about people, what makes them tick, what they are interested in, what they have bees in their bonnets about - a key networking skill.
- I'd like the opportunity to find out a bit what they were like as people, what makes them tick, and, you know, enjoy their company.
- No one really knows how these people think, what makes them tick, and which of the five contenders stirs their blood.
tick someone off
- 1North American • informal Make someone annoyed or angry.More example sentences
- Please forgive me and know that I likewise extend forgiveness to all who have offended, insulted, irritated, or otherwise ticked me off.
- Those girls were always doing something to tick him off, angering him more than humanly possible.
- So at this point, was I worried about ticking them off?
- 2British • informal Reprimand or rebuke someone: he was ticked off by Angela (as noun ticking off) he got a ticking off from the bossMore example sentences
- Then we were ticked off for not taking enough exercise.
- She was ticking us off for a number of administrative errors but I think she has every confidence in the leadership we give to the appointments commission.
- Beyond the door Matron was ticking Bentham off for leaving Thomas alone and the other nurses were gathering, quizzing each other and expressing dismay.
tick something off chiefly British
- 1Mark an item in a list with a tick to show that it has been dealt with: I ticked several items off my “to do” listMore example sentences
- Mr Howarth said: "We had a leaflet on meningitis and when we ticked off the symptoms the alarm bells started ringing".
- Sipping bottled water before the concert in Huntington in March, he ticked off a long list of luminaries with whom he had worked.
- Then it is ticked off a list of all birds found in this country.
- 2List items one by one in one’s mind or during a speech: he ticked the points off on his fingersMore example sentences
- The officer was going down a mental list and ticking the items off on his fingers. ‘… possession of drugs, possession of illegal weapons and technology, and assaulting an officer of the North American army.
- ‘Well, she's really small, absolutely gorgeous, drives a hot car, goes by animal names, loud, bossy,’ Samuel listed, ticking each description off on a new finger.
- He had been ticking the items off on his fingers with the air of a housewife listing tasks yet to be done; now he laced the fingers behind his head and sighed vastly.
- (Of an engine) idle.More example sentences
- I fired up the two big engines, they were ticking over beautifully at approximately 1000 rpm.
- With the engine still ticking over, the lady was genuinely worried for her safety.
- The engine will not tick over at less than 20000 revs.
- Work or function at a basic or minimum level: they are keeping things ticking over until their father returnsMore example sentences
- There's also a problem in that my normal mode of thinking of stuff to write about is mostly because my mind sort of ticks over if I'm not thinking of anything particularly fiercely.
- I think there was more pressure on me at the time because I came in to keep things ticking over for Celtic.
- They keep all the bits in working order, not just ticking over in a repetitious way.
Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'pat, touch'): probably of Germanic origin and related to Dutch tik (noun), tikken (verb) 'pat, touch'. The noun was recorded in late Middle English as 'a light tap'; current senses date from the late 17th century.
- 1A parasitic arachnid that attaches itself to the skin of a terrestrial vertebrate from which it sucks blood, leaving the host when sated. Some species transmit diseases, including tularemia and Lyme disease.
More example sentences
- Suborder Ixodida, order Acarina (or Acari)
- It takes 24 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease, so rapid removal is important.
- Mites and ticks which feed on vertebrate hair or blood often carry disease organisms, such as spirochete bacteria, responsible for relapsing fever and Lyme disease.
- More than a nuisance, fleas and ticks can transmit a host of pathogens and skin diseases to humans and their furry counterparts.
Old English ticia, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch teek and German Zecke.
- 1A fabric case stuffed with feathers or other material to form a mattress or pillow.More example sentences
- He quickly reached the top and started throwing down ticks, pillows and blankets.
- They reach for the money, which is very close to where Huck is standing, and move it to the straw tick under the feather bed.
- ‘Yes sir,’ she whispered as Jeeka entered the house with the full straw ticks.
- 1.1 short for ticking.
late Middle English: probably Middle Low German and Middle Dutch tēke, or Middle Dutch tīke, via West Germanic from Latin theca 'case', from Greek thēkē.
noun(in phrase on tick) chiefly British or • dated
- On credit.More example sentences
- If you buy it on tick it'll be worn out before you've finished paying for it.
- Living on tick, Adam sees nothing for it but to hop back aboard the carousel of fashionable metropolitan parties.
- It's a sign of changed circumstances in the Valley that another growth area is the repossession of cars bought on tick, whose owners can no longer afford to keep up the repayments.
mid 17th century: apparently short for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.