Time waits for no man

Time waits for no man is the most quoted part of a proverb that is very old. We will examine the meaning of the expression time waits for no man, where it may have come from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The expression time waits for no man means that some things are inevitable, such as birth, death, the sun rising in the morning, and the passage of time. No man can control such inevitable natural phenomena or facts of life. In particular, the phrase time waits for no man is often used to acknowledge that someone is aging. The phrase time waits for no man is only part of a proverb. The entire proverb is: Time and tide wait for no man. In this case, the word tide is often taken to refer to the rising and falling of the ocean, which is another natural phenomenon that man can not control. In fact, the word tide in this expression means a season or a period of time, like Christmastide. The proverb is recorded as early as 1225, and is reputedly a quote from Saint Mahrer. In fact, it is believed that the expression time and tide wait for no man is much older.

Examples

They say that time waits for no man, but in the case of Billy McFarland I suspect that time has stood still. (The Belfast Telegraph)

There will likely be little outrage this time whenever Manning is instructed to pass the torch to Chosen Jones and stand next to Shurmur on the sideline, more likely an acknowledgment that time waits for no man, or Manning. (The New York Post)

Time waits for no man – or woman, as Serena Williams discovered when Simona Halep beat the 37-year-old American 6-2, 6-2 in 56 minutes in Saturday’s final. (The Guardian)