like clockwork

clockwork

[klok-wurk]
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:
1620–30; clock1 + work

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To like clockwork
Collins
World English Dictionary
clockwork (ˈklɒkˌwɜːk)
 
n
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

clockwork
1660s, "mechanism of a clock," from clock + work. Fig. sense of "anything of unvarying regularity" is recorded earlier (1620s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

like clockwork

Also, regular as clockwork. With extreme regularity, as in Ruth arrives every Wednesday morning just like clockwork, or You can count on his schedule, which is regular as clockwork, or Their assembly line runs like clockwork. This idiom alludes to the mechanical and therefore very regular action of a clock. [Second half of 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;