to buy time

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - buy time

"to buy time"

to increase the time available hoping the situation will improve


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - buy time

Two police officers are talking ...

Officer 1:  What are we going to do? There are only the two of us here.

Officer 2:  Get the criminal talking. That should buy us some time. I have called for back-up. If we can keep the criminal talking long enough, back-up will arrive and that will help the situation.

Officer 1:  OK. I will try and stall the criminal.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - buy time

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The customer is threatening to cancel the order if we do not deliver by Friday.

Colleague 2:  There is no way that we will be ready by Friday.

Colleague 1:  What should I do?

Colleague 2Buy time.

Colleague 1:  How?

Colleague 2:  Send whatever product is available now and offer to pay the shipping. We can send the balance of the order when it is ready.

to buy time - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,105   click for frequency by country

to buy time - Gerund Form:

Buying time to pay her rent, she gave her landlord the excuse that her grandmother had just died.

to buy time - Examples:

1)  ... knew that the party wanted to buy time to enable it make better preparations to win the election by ...

2)  If you are not sure of your answer, buy time or refer the inquiry to the rightful person.

3)  ... writing it isn't clear whether this is permanent, or a manoeuvre designed to buy time while he works on his latest resurrection.

4)  In this case, the defence counsels at different stage were seen trying to buy time to delay the trial.

5)  ... efforts to buy time by promising more details in a few weeks ...

6)  ... under the pretext of calling for negotiation while what they were actually doing was buying time for their boys (militants) to mobilize and gather more weapons.

7)  ... to marginally reduce rates were just attempts to wiggle out of a difficult situation by buying time before reverting to the crippling rates.

8)  Our initial position was about buying time for those companies, so we could start working with them. 

9)  ... said he believed the Bank of Japan was essentially buying time with its small move Friday and would take more decisive action once it assessed ...

10)  ... is insisting on speeding up the process, the ministry is buying time to decide on the security issue.

11)  ... learned that domestic titles bought time, but not immunity from boardroom prosecution.

12)  ... but it looks as if, having bought time by ruling it out until the end of this year, ...

13)  Along the way, the government bought time by setting up a panel to investigate allegations of questionable practices in the real-estate ...

14)  That couldn't be done in a month. So we bought time.

15)  The Treasury bought time by holding consultations with stakeholders in the hope of getting to the bottom of ...

16)  All of this obstruction and obfuscation buys time for the leaders to continue to use extreme violence to loot the state treasury.

17)  ... insisting that circulating possession is important - and also buys time to restore order to minds scrambled by events in a game.

18)  Pass the emergency appropriations and everyone buys time.

19)  The deferral, however, buys time for parents and DMD advocacy groups to put more pressure on the FDA.

20)  The legal team acting on behalf of the tenants say this buys time for them but it is not a solution.