Time Quotes


Arranged alphabetically by author

  • Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.
    o Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • How can I tell that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
    o The man in the shack, in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980) by Douglas Adams. Ch. 29

  • Time is not a reality [hupostasis], but a concept [noêma] or a measure [metron]…
    o Antiphon the Sophist, Truth

  • The times they are a’changin,
    o Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’, 1964

  • Time present and time past

    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.

  • T. S. Eliot, in the Four Quartets
  • Time is Life.
    o Michael Ende in Momo (1973)

  • Lots of things take time, and time was Momo’s only form of wealth.
    o Michael Ende in Momo (1973)

  • Time is money.
    o Benjamin Franklin, Advice to Young Tradesmen (1748)

  • The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To flutter — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing
    o Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as translated by Edward FitzGerald (1868 edition)
    + The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
    # (1859 edition)

  • Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived. After all Number One, we’re only mortal.
    o Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Generations (1994), portrayed by Patrick Stewart

  • Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn.
    o Delmore Schwartz in “For Rhoda” (1938)

  • I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;

    For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
    My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
    Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
    Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
    Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
    Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
    Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
    Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
    Show minutes, times, and hours”

  • King Richard in Richard II by William Shakespeare
  • Time is a son of a bitch.
    o Tupac Shakur, in “Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”

  • The flow of time is always cruel… its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it… A thing that does not change with time is a memory of younger days…
    o “Sheik” in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

  • Time, time, time, see what’s become of me,
    While I looked around,
    For my possibilities;
    I was so hard to please.
    But look around, leaves are brown
    And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
    o Paul Simon in “Hazy Shade Of Winter”

  • There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
    o King Solomon, The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (“A Time for Everything”)

  • This thing all things devours:

    Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
    Gnaws iron, bites steel,
    Grinds hard stones to meal;
    Slays king, ruins town,
    And beats high mountain down.

  • Riddle by J. R. R. Tolkien, in The Hobbit
  • Who has time? Who has time? But then if we never take time, how can we have time?
    o The Merovingian in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) by the Wachowski Brothers

  • Time is a waste of money.
    o Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young (1894)

  • Time’s tide will smother you
    o The Smiths, “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”, 1985 single; written by Morrissey


  • I think the second you stop fighting it, time really is on your side.
    o J.D., Scrubs, unidentified episode

  • What is time? If nobody asks me, I know; but if I were desirous to explain it to one that should ask me, plainly I know not.
    o Augustine of Hippo

  • We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
    o Paul Bowles

  • Time spent with cats is never wasted.
    o Colette

  • Everything passes, but nothing entirely goes away.
    o Jenny Diski

  • To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
    o Emily Dickinson

  • Forever is composed of nows.
    o Emily Dickinson

  • How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
    o Annie Dillard

  • The times they are a-changing.
    o Bob Dylan

  • Time is what keeps the light from reaching us.
    o Meister Eckhart

  • Time is an illusion.
    o Albert Einstein

  • Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time.
    o Michael Ende

  • Time is the accident of accidents.
    o Epicurus

  • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
    o Benjamin Franklin

  • Lost time is never found again
    o Benjamin Franklin

  • Spend some time alone every day.
    o Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

  • It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper understanding.
    o Vincent Van Gogh

  • Each day a day goes by.
    o Carlo Goldoni

  • Our true home is the present moment.

    To live in the present moment is a miracle.
    The miracle is not to walk on water.
    The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others, go flowing on. Time is a child, moving counters in a game; the royal power is a child’s.
    o Heraclitus

  • Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.
    o Jesse Jackson

  • Time is on my side, yes it is.
    o Mick Jagger

  • You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.
    o Janis Joplin

  • The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time
  • Leo Kennedy
  • Truth is always new, therefore timeless.
    o Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
    o Stephen Leacock

  • Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
    o John Lennon

  • The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
    o C. S. Lewis

  • Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
    o Horace Mann

  • Tomorrow’s life is too late. Live today.
    o Martial

  • Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
    o Groucho Marx

  • I’ve been on a calendar but I have never been on time
    o Marilyn Monroe

  • I confess I do not believe in time.
    o Vladimir Nabokov

  • Time makes more converts than reason.
    o Thomas Paine

  • Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.
    o Mary Parrish

  • By labor we can find food and water, but all of our labor will not find for us another hour.
    o Kenneth Patton

  • Nature’s Time is Cubic and perpetual. Linear Time is wrong and suicidal.
    o Gene Ray

  • We are not capable of producing a concept of time that is at once cosmological, biological, historical and individual.
    o Paul Ricoeur
  • Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
    o Will Rogers

  • Come out of the circle of time
    And into the circle of love.
    o Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

  • This I offer to the secret of great Truth: Do not waste time!
    o The Sandokai

  • o There’s a gude time coming.
    o Sir Walter Scott in Rob Roy

  • Veritum dies aperit
    o Time discovers the truth)
    + Seneca in De Ira

  • We must trust time to reveal all things
    o “Maiev Shadowsong”, in Warcraft III

  • The present never ages. Each moment is like a snowflake, unique, unspoiled, unrepeatable, and can be appreciated in its surprisingness.
    o Gail Sheehy

  • Time, time, time, see what’s become of me,
    While I looked around,
    For my possibilities;
    I was so hard to please.
    o Paul Simon

  • Each moment is a place you’ve never been.
    o Mark Strand

  • The present is not what is spoken about today but what is reported tomorrow.
    o Leonid S. Sukhorukov

  • The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
    o Henry David Thoreau

  • Time and tide wait for no man. A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water-ballast we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide.
    o Mark Twain

  • They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
    o Andy Warhol

  • Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
    o Alan Watts

  • Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.
    o Eudora Welty

  • I want to go ahead of Father Time with a scythe of my own.
    o H.G. Wells

  • Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.
    Space is what prevents everything from happening to me.
    o Attributed to John Archibald Wheeler

  • All things in this world are impermanent. They have the nature to rise and pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings true happiness.
    o Buddhist chant

  • An inch of time won’t buy an inch of gold.
    o Chinese proverb

  • Pulling at an olive won’t make it ripen faster.
    o Italian proverb

  • Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.
    o Variously attributed to Woody Allen, Albert Einstein, John Archibald Wheeler, and Anonymous

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