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Denotation vs. Connotation

time flies

Time passes quickly, as in It's midnight already? Time flies when you're having fun, or I guess it's ten years since I last saw you—how time flies. This idiom was first recorded about 1800 but Shakespeare used a similar phrase, “the swiftest hours, as they flew,” as did Alexander Pope, “swift fly the years.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for time flies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We passed the Pantheon and several places of great interest, but time flies and we must away from Paris.

  • On the other hand, when life is active and stirring, time flies.

  • Go on with the list, please, Jawkins; time flies, and your presence must be required to arrange the drawing-rooms.

    The King's Men Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T. Wheelwright
  • Why do we always say that time flies quickly when we are happy?

    Fan W.H. Hudson (AKA Henry Harford)
  • Gracious, how time flies, for here it is summer again and the flowers are all in bloom!

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • Why, the people who say that time flies when it is spent in pleasant company.

    Once Aboard The Lugger Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
  • time flies fast, boy, and you will be a man sooner than you expect—too soon perhaps for the golden days of youth.

    Marcus: the Young Centurion George Manville Fenn
  • The story will have to be brief, and a bit sketchy, for time flies.

    Aces Up Covington Clarke

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