"Out of time" can mean a variety of things, but IMO the most common one and the one that will be understood if there's no context is "with no time left". unambiguously

In can also be used in music but context is often enough to tell.

But it the case of a time traveler, out of time can be used both for the meaning I mentioned and for when he's "outside of time" (hors du temps in French). I'm using outside just to be understood, but I'm pretty sure out of time is the only correct form.

Is using outside of time incorrect? Is there another way to express that idea that's not (or less) ambiguous?

That "problem" occurs for example in the lyrics of True Survivor by David Hasselhoff:

Out of time, running in and out of time

I believe the first one means no more time/running out of time, while the second one has the other meaning. It's hard to tell, am I correct?

  • 1
    I wouldn't say outside of time is incorrect but instinctively I want to say outside the dimension of time or outside (of) time itself. I think Marty McFly had the license plate OUTTATIME, so I guess Doc Brown thought out of time was OK.
    – user339660
    Mar 27, 2019 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


In the case of your time traveller, and to avoid ambiguity, I would use the word atemporal:

: independent of or unaffected by time : TIMELESS

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