tick over - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [intransitive] British
present tense
I/you/we/theytick over
he/she/itticks over
present participleticking over
past tenseticked over
past participleticked over
  1. 1
    if a car engine is ticking over, it is operating but the car is not moving
  2. 2
    informal to operate steadily but not very well

    He just keeps things ticking over at the garage whilst the boss is on holiday.

See also main entry: tick