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or timeout

[tahym-out] /ˈtaɪmˈaʊt/
noun, plural time-outs.
a brief suspension of activity; intermission or break.
Sports. a short interruption in a regular period of play during which a referee or other official stops the clock so that the players may rest, deliberate, make substitutions, etc.
Origin of time-out
First recorded in 1870-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for time out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • time out of mind, such malleability has been the cross of the Magdalenes.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Well, in our town on the river, the women's heads are half the time out of the windows.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • FROM that time out, we was with him 'most all the time, and one or t'other of us slept in his upper berth.

    Tom Sawyer, Detective Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Clemens appeared to be at this time out of tune with fiction.

  • Don't wait for Sue; Sue has nothing to do with you from this time out.

    Sue, A Little Heroine

    L. T. Meade
British Dictionary definitions for time out


(sport) an interruption in play during which players rest, discuss tactics, or make substitutions
a break taken during working hours
(computing) a condition occurring when the amount of time a computer has been instructed to wait for another device to perform a task has expired, usually indicated by an error message
(intransitive) (of a computer) to stop operating because of a time-out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for time out



also time out, 1896 in sports, 1939 in other occupations; from 1980 as the name of a strategy in child discipline; from time + out.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with time out

time out

A short break from work or play; also, a punishment for misbehavior in young children in which they are briefly separated from the group. For example, People rush around so much these days that I think everyone should take some time out now and then, or We don't throw food, Brian; you need some time out to think about it. This expression comes from a number of sports in which it signifies an interruption in play where the officials stop the clock, for purposes of rest, making a substitution, or consultation. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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