1 [intransitive] also tick away
if a clock or watch ticks, it makes a short repeated sound:
The old clock ticked noisily.
2 [transitive] British EnglishSE
to mark a test, list of questions etc with a tick, in order to show that something is correct, to choose something etc [= check American English]
Tick the description that best fits you.
Just tick the box on your order form.
the thoughts, feelings, opinions etc that give someone their character or make them behave in a particular way:
I've never really understood what makes her tick.
if something ticks all the right boxes, it does everything that you wanted it to do or is everything you wanted it to be
tick all the right boxesinformal
tick away/by/pastphrasal verb
We need a decision - time's ticking away.
The minutes ticked past and still she didn't call.
tick somebody/something ↔ offphrasal verb
1 British English informal
to tell someone angrily that you are annoyed with them or disapprove of them:
Mrs Watts will tick you off if you're late again.
2 British English
to mark the things on a list with a tick to show that they have been dealt with, chosen etc [= check off American English]
As you finish each task, tick it off.
Have you ticked off Kate's name on the list?
3 American English informal
to annoy someone:
Her attitude is really ticking me off.
4 American English
to tell someone a list of things, especially when you touch a different finger as you say each thing on the list:
Carville began ticking off points on his fingers.
tick overphrasal verb
if an engine ticks over, it works while the vehicle is not moving:
Mark left the engine ticking over and went back inside.
if a system, business etc ticks over, it continues working but without producing very much or without much happening:
The business is just about ticking over.
Jane will keep things ticking over while I'm away.