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tick over

verb (intransitive, adverb)
1.
(Brit) Also idle. (of an engine) to run at low speed with the throttle control closed and the transmission disengaged
2.
to run smoothly without any major changes: keep the firm ticking over until I get back
noun
3.
(Brit)
  1. the speed of an engine when it is ticking over
  2. (as modifier): tick-over speed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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