(1)   A timepiece that shows the time of day


(2)   Measure the time or duration of an event or action or the person who performs an action in a certain period of time
"He clocked the runners"

Etymology 1

First appeared around 1350–1400, either borrowed from (Dutch ), from ; or from Northern (French ), from . Related to Old English , German , Swedish , Irish , Breton , Welsh .


  1. An instrument used to measure or keep track of time; a non-portable timepiece.
  2. The odometer of a motor vehicle.
    This car has over 300,000 miles on the clock.
  3. An electrical signal that synchronizes timing among digital circuits of semiconductor chips or modules.

  • (instrument used to measure or keep track of time): timepiece
  • (odometer of a motor vehicle): odometer


  1. To measure the duration of.
  2. To measure the speed of.
    He was clocked at 155 miles per hour.
  3. To hit (someone)
    When the boxer let down his guard, his opponent clocked him.
  4. To take notice of; to realise.
    Clock the wheels on that car!
    He finally clocked that there were no more cornflakes.
  5. To falsify the reading of the odometer of a vehicle.
    I don't believe that car has done only 40,000 miles. It's been clocked.


to take notice of
  1. 2000 -- Naugahide Days: The Lost Island Stories of Thomas Wood Briar by Phil Austin (page 109)
    Bo John and I twisted our heads around as Miranda braked over to the gravelly shoulder, let the Scout wheeze to a stop. She was climbing out, hurrying back to whatever had caught her eye. Bo John leered into the door mirror, clocking her flouncing, leggy strut.
  2. 2005 -- Cupid Is Stupid by Jr. Aaron Bryant (page 19)
    It is true. Carmen is an official gold digger. In fact, she is an instructor at the school of gold digging. Hood rats have been clocking her style for years. Wanting to pull the players she pulled, and wishing they had the looks she had.
  3. 2006 -- Dublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger Vs. the Ugly American by Ken Bruen (page 36),M1
    And he waits till I extend my hand, the two fingers visibly crushed. He clocks them, I say, "Phil."

  • (measure the duration of): time
  • (measure the speed of):
  • (slang: hit (someone)): slug, smack, thump, whack
  • (slang: take notice of): check out, scope out
  • (slang: falsify the reading of the odometer of a vehicle): turn back (the vehicle's) clock, wind back (the vehicle's) clock

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain; designs may have originally been bell-shaped and thus related to Etymology 1, above.
  1. 2006 - Fashion Source Book by J. Munslow, Kathryn McKelvey (p.231) 1405126930
    "Clocks: These are ornamental designs embroidered or woven on to the ankles of stockings."
    Illustration; Ib. p.165
  2. 2006 - "Calvin Klein E91216 Side Clock Socks Black" (collected from Internet)
  3. 2004 - Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor (p.60), pub. Courier Dover ISBN 0486433005
    "Most decoration involved the ankle clocks, and several are shown on p.15 in the form of charts."
  4. 1897 - Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect by William Barnes (p.110), Grammer's Shoes v.2
    "She'd a gown wi' girt flowers lik' hollyhocks
    "An zome stockèns o' gramfer's a-knit wi' clocks"
  5. 1882 - "Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri" by W.S. Gilbert - When you're lying awake
    "But this you can't stand, so you throw up your hand,
    and you find you're as cold as an icicle,
    In your shirt and your socks (the black silk with gold clocks),
    crossing Salisbury Plain on a bicycle"