|Origin:||clocke 'bell, clock', from Medieval Latin clocca 'bell', from a Celtic language|
clock1 S2 W3 [countable]
an instrument that shows what time it is, in a room or outside on a building:
The clock on the church tower said nine o'clock.
I lay there listening to the clock ticking.
Mary set her alarm clock for 6:30 am (=made sure it would ring at 6:30).
My clock stopped and I didn't wake up in time.
I heard the clock strike six.
by the hall/kitchen/church etc clock (=according to a particular clock)
What time is it by the kitchen clock?
the clock is slow/fast (=the clock is showing an earlier or later time than the real time)
The station clock was ten minutes slow.
wind (up) a clock (=turn a key in a clock so that it keeps working)
set a clock by something (=change the time on a clock according to the time on the television, radio etc)
I set my clock by the 6 o'clock news.
clock face (=the front part of a clock)➔ alarm clock, carriage clock, cuckoo clock, grandfather clock
➔ watch the clockat watch1 (8)
2 also British English
all day and all night without stopping:
Kim has been working round the clock to finish it in time.
a) also set the clock back American English
to go back to the way things were done in the past instead of doing things in a modern way - used in order to show disapproval:
The new employment bill will put the clock back fifty years.
to return to a good situation that you experienced in the past or to make someone remember such a situation:
The kids are all grown up now and you can't put the clocks back.
4 British EnglishTMC
to change the time shown on the clock to one hour earlier or later, when the time officially changes
5 British English
the time changes officially to one hour earlier or later:
The clocks go back in October.
if you work against the clock, you work as quickly as you can because you do not have much time:
Everyone is racing against the clock to get things ready in time.
if you run, swim etc against the clock, you run or swim a particular distance while your speed is measured
a system for measuring time in which the hours of the day and night have numbers from 0 to 23
to start or stop measuring how much time is left in a game or sport that has a time limit
an instrument in a vehicle that measures how far it has travelled
on the clock
a car with 43,000 miles on the clock
an instrument in a vehicle that measures the speed at which it is travelling
10 American EnglishDS
if a team runs out the clock at the end of a game, it tries to keep the ball for the rest of the game so that its opponents cannot get any points