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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for time out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From this time out (we were all of two weeks on the trail) Elam was moody.

    Elam Storm, The Wolfer Harry Castlemon
  • So she can go home and mind her business from this time out.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Very little things irritated him, and pleasantries which he had taken in excellent part, time out of mind, now raised his anger.

  • From that time out not a day passed but one or more of the crew were struck or kicked.

    The Call Of The South Louis Becke
  • In a large portion of the state the climate is such that the inhabitants may spend much of their time out of doors.

    History of California Helen Elliott Bandini
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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