Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mechanism of geared wheels driven by a wound spring, as in a mechanical clock.
  • idiom (like clockwork) With machinelike regularity and precision; perfectly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The machinery and movements of a clock; any complex mechanism of wheels producing regularity or precision of movement.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

clock +‎ work

Examples

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

    CHAPTER XXXIII

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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