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.
a short time alone used as a punishment or consequence for a child who is misbehaving.
the termination of a process or event that is taking longer than expected to proceed, and that is more likely to be successful if relaunched, resubmitted, etc.
the severing of an online connection after a period of inactivity, as when a user is logged out of a secure session on a webpage after a fixed period of time.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use timeout in a sentence
“You knew it was pretty much over then because we had no timeouts,” Mahomes said.What went wrong for the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes in a brutal Super Bowl defeat | Adam Kilgore | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
With that absent, Brooks searched for some other answer all game, exhausting his timeouts before the end of the third quarter.Wizards’ defense falters again in a 119-97 loss to the Hornets | Ava Wallace | February 7, 2021 | Washington Post
Frese called a timeout after the Badgers opened the second half with a 7-0 run, and the Terps promptly answered with a 13-0 burst of their own.Brenda Frese pulls even with Chris Weller atop Terps’ all-time wins list | Kareem Copeland | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
I have never once requested a timeout, nor have I been given one.Nine problems with college basketball on TV — and how to fix them | John Feinstein | February 3, 2021 | Washington Post
The legislation would have required any school that receives state funding to make a plan to reduce — and eventually eliminate — its reliance on any kind of timeout and restraint over the next three years.Bill Banning Locked Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Stalls as Lawmakers Run Out of Time | by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica | January 14, 2021 | ProPublica
"We took a blow and had a timeout and I looked down around where we were standing and what I looked at was amazing," he said.Bob Kurland, the First Player to Dunk, Was a Pioneer for Big Men | Kevin Fixler | March 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A “timeout truce” in the campaign cash arms race neither limits free speech nor requires new legislation.Trickle-Down Bribery, or, The Butch Cassidy Congress | Lindsay Mark Lewis | November 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
And how about guzzling from the water bottle during a timeout as if he was the only one who was thirsty?
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
(intr) (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
Other Idioms and Phrases with timeout
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.