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See more synonyms for downtime on Thesaurus.com
  1. a time during a regular working period when an employee is not actively productive.
  2. an interval during which a machine is not productive, as during repair, malfunction, maintenance.
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Origin of downtime

First recorded in 1925–30; down1 + time
Also called dead time.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for downtime


  1. commerce time during which a machine or plant is not working because it is incapable of production, as when under repair: the term is sometimes used to include all nonproductive timeCompare idle time
  2. informal time spent not working; spare time
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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

Word Origin and History for downtime


1952, from down (adv.) + time (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper