Borrowed from Latin, from the verse Georgica which was written by the Roman poet Virgil which is sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus (“but it flees meanwhile: irretrievable time flees”) which has the less literal translation "while, the irreplaceable time escapes".
- time flies (used as an alternative to this phrase).
- "Meanwhile, the irreplaceable time escapes", expressing concern that one's limited time is being consumed by something which may have little intrinsic substance or importance at that moment.
- c. 1552–1618. Sir Walter Ralegh. The Nymph's Reply To The Shepherd (poem)
- 1859 "Two Years Before the Mast" (book), epilogue. By Richard Henry Dana Jr.
- 1980. Tempus fugit (song) by the progressive rock group Yes, from the album Drama.
- 1992. Tempus Fugit (song) by Miles Davis, from the album The Capitol and Blue Note Years: The Best of Miles Davis.
- 1997. Tempus Fugit (TV episode), The X-Files.
- 1999. Relativity (TV episode), season 5 of Star Trek: Voyager, Lt. Ducane uses the phrase.