a person or thing that times.
a person who measures or records time.
a device for indicating or measuring elapsed time, as a stopwatch.
a device for controlling machinery, appliances, or the like, in a specified way at a predetermined time: Please put the roast in the oven and set the timer to cook it for two hours.
(in an internal-combustion engine) a set of points actuated by a cam, which causes the spark for igniting the charge at the instant required.

1490–1500; time + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
timer (ˈtaɪmə)
1.  a device for measuring, recording, or indicating time
2.  a switch or regulator that causes a mechanism to operate at a specific time or at predetermined intervals
3.  a person or thing that times

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Many of the photographs have timer clocks in the background.
And if food access were not a problem, if it were solved, the dramatic increase
  in fed people would accelerate that timer.
If you really want to go a step ahead, use a timer to see how long birds stay
  and visit each pan.
He had set the detonation timer, disguised as a calculator, when seeing her off
  to the airport.
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