on tick


4 [tik]
noun Chiefly British Informal.
a score or account.
on tick, on credit or trust: We bought our telly on tick.

1635–45; short for ticket

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World English Dictionary
tick1 (tɪk)
1.  a recurrent metallic tapping or clicking sound, such as that made by a clock or watch
2.  informal (Brit) a moment or instant
3.  a mark (√) or dash used to check off or indicate the correctness of something
4.  commerce the smallest increment of a price fluctuation in a commodity exchange. Tick size is usually 0.01% of the nominal value of the trading unit
vb (when tr, often foll by off)
5.  to produce a recurrent tapping sound or indicate by such a sound: the clock ticked the minutes away
6.  to mark or check (something, such as a list) with a tick
7.  informal what makes someone tick the basic drive or motivation of a person
[C13: from Low German tikk touch; related to Old High German zekōn to pluck, Norwegian tikke to touch]

tick2 (tɪk)
1.  See also sheep tick any of various small parasitic arachnids of the families Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks), typically living on the skin of warm-blooded animals and feeding on the blood and tissues of their hosts: order Acarina (mites and ticks)Related: acaroid
2.  any of certain other arachnids of the order Acarina
3.  any of certain insects of the dipterous family Hippoboscidae that are ectoparasitic on horses, cattle, sheep, etc, esp the sheep ked
Related: acaroid
[Old English ticca; related to Middle High German zeche tick, Middle Irish dega stag beetle]

tick3 (tɪk)
1.  the strong covering of a pillow, mattress, etc
2.  informal short for ticking
[C15: probably from Middle Dutch tīke; related to Old High German ziecha pillow cover, Latin tēca case, Greek thēkē]

tick4 (tɪk)
informal (Brit) account or credit (esp in the phrase on tick)
[C17: shortened from ticket]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"parasitic animal," O.E. ticia, from W.Gmc. *tik- (cf. M.Du. teke, Du. teek, O.H.G. zecho, Ger. Zecke "tick"), of unknown origin. Fr. tique (1464), It. zecca are Gmc. loan-words.

1440, "light touch or tap," probably cognate with Du. tik, M.H.G. zic, and perhaps echoic. Meaning "sound made by a clock" is probably first recorded 1549; tick-tock is recorded from 1848. To tick (someone) off is recorded from 1915, originally "to reprimand, scold;" meaning "to annoy" is recorded from

"credit," 1642, shortening of ticket (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tick 2 (tĭk)

  1. Any of numerous small bloodsucking parasitic arachnids of the families Ixodidae and Argasidae, many of which transmit febrile diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and lyme disease.

  2. Any of various usually wingless, louselike insects of the family Hippobosciddae that are parasitic on sheep, goats, and other animals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
tick   (tĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of numerous small, parasitic arachnids of the suborder Ixodida that feed on the blood of animals. Like their close relatives the mites and unlike spiders, ticks have no division between cephalothorax and abdomen. Ticks differ from mites by being generally larger and having a sensory pit at the end of their first pair of legs. Many ticks transmit febrile diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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