Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mechanism of geared wheels driven by a wound spring, as in a mechanical clock.
  • idiom like clockwork With machinelike regularity and precision; perfectly: The project proceeded like clockwork.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanism powered by a coiled spring and regulated by some form of escapement; the power is transmitted through toothed gearwheels and used to drive a mechanical clock, toy, or other device.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The machinery of a clock, or machinery resembling that of a clock; machinery which produces regularity of movement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The machinery and movements of a clock; any complex mechanism of wheels producing regularity or precision of movement.
  • n. Figuratively, any regulated system by which work is performed steadily and without confusion, as if by machinery.
  • Marked by machine-like regularity of operation: as, a clockwork system; clockwork movements.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any mechanism of geared wheels that is driven by a coiled spring; resembles the works of a mechanical clock

Etymologies

clock +‎ work (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The clockwork is radiocontrolled and the timedots (the dots that mark the hours) comes in 3 different sizes and colours.

    Hotel-de-Ville de Paris Wall Clock

  • And in the trained-animal world, where turns must go off like clockwork, is little or no space for persuasion.

    Chapter 33

  • You'll note that in these and many other cases the joy of seeing these works of art appear every month like clockwork is short-lived.

    The ADD Blog at Comic Book Galaxy

  • Seriously, it seems a lot of people who focus on current biological science become remarkably 'reductionist' and in many ways are still thinking of the universe as a 'clockwork' - that idea has been outdated in physics for over century, time for Richard Dawkins to catch up.

    Fibonacci Patterns

  • Then Donna Scott at a small magazine called Visionary Tongue asked me to write a short story, so I used it as a test-bed to play around with the idea of clockwork vampires.

    Interview with Andy Remic (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

  • So no surprise that the clockwork was the symbol for science and progress – just like we use the computer analogy for how the brain works.

    The Mechanical World View – or why van Gogh’s can’t be simulated | ultraorange.net

  • They were first written down by Isaac Newton in the seventeenth century and gave rise to a general view of nature known as the clockwork universe.

    Newton's laws of motion

  • I found that the door was controlled by an elaborate piece of clockwork, which is set in motion by the pressure upon the floor of the feet of any intruder, causing the door to shut almost immediately behind him.

    The Ashiel mystery A Detective Story

  • Then, hopefully, another three fantasy books in the same "clockwork" universe as Kell's Legend will follow (I have six planned in my head), another Combat K novel, Ganger (I have many of those planned in my head, they are awesome fun to write) and I'm also dabbling with some Nazi zombie stuff, and some more SPIRAL novels!

    Interview with Andy Remic (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

  • Catholics should not dare to have a conception of business or economic life that is based either on practical atheism or on a deism that sees God as simply a distant Creator, who left a kind of clockwork universe that runs by itself, as in Adam Smith's "invisible hand."

    The Social Mission of the Catholic Church

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