- 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
- 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
- (intr) (of a computer) to stop operating because of a time-out
Word Origin and History for time out
Idioms and Phrases with 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.