turn the clock back


turn the clock back


  • set the clock back
  • put the clock back


  • to restore something to its former state or condition.
  • to go back to an earlier situation, typically because the current state is not good.
  • to return to the past.
  • to return to old-fashioned ideas.
  • to restore something to its earlier state.
  • to adjust the time on one clock back by one hour.

Examples in a Sentence

  1. I would if I could turn the clock back and study another course.
  2. People will always try to turn the clock back when things get real.
  3. It is not possible to turn the clock back and live life over again.
  4. I love it when we turn the clock back because we get an extra hour of sleep.
  5. The court’s decision in this case will turn the clock back.
  6. I wish I could turn the clock back and undo the wrong things I did.
  7. The Common Rules in the company have put the clock back ten years.
  8. I wish I could set the clock back to the 1970s to meet my grandparents.


To turn the clock back is an idiom whose origin can be traced back to the nineteenth century. It is synonymous with “turn back the hands of time.” It generally refers to a vain attempt to return to a past era. Unfortunately, it was never possible. It was first printed in Erle Stanley Garner’s book “The Case of the Turning Tide.” In 1941, Erle wrote, “You can’t turn back the hands of the clock,” meaning it was impossible to go back in time and change anything.

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