beat the clock

Idioms & Phrases

beat the clock

Finish something or succeed before time is up, as in The paper went to press at five o'clock, and they hurried to beat the clock. The term comes from various sports or races in which contestants compete within a certain time limit.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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