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clockwork

[klok-wurk] /ˈklɒkˌwɜrk/
noun
1.
the mechanism of a clock.
2.
any mechanism similar to that of a clock.
Idioms
3.
like clockwork, with perfect regularity or precision:
The launching of the spacecraft went off like clockwork.
Origin of clockwork
1620-1630
1620-30; clock1 + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clockwork
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The sort that give no trouble 'cos you know their orders right off and leave their twopence like clockwork, see?

    A Bed of Roses W. L. George
  • She watched them running in circles like things on wheels and moving by clockwork.

    The Beach of Dreams H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • Although so cleverly constructed, the clockwork Man was far from perfect.

  • She says it would be like marrying a clockwork figure without the key.

    Novel Notes Jerome K. Jerome
  • Reg'ler as clockwork we pass—a little after one, and the coach from Deniliquin she passes an hour or so earlier.

    The Moving Finger Mary Gaunt
British Dictionary definitions for clockwork

clockwork

/ˈklɒkˌwɜːk/
noun
1.
the mechanism of a clock
2.
any similar mechanism, as in a wind-up toy
3.
like clockwork, with complete regularity and precision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clockwork
n.

also clock-work, 1660s, "mechanism of a clock," from clock (n.1) + work (n.). Figurative sense of "anything of unvarying regularity" is recorded earlier (1620s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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