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timeout

or time-out

[ tahym-out ]
/ ˈtaɪmˈaʊt /
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Definition of timeout

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.
a short time alone used as a punishment or consequence for a child who is misbehaving.
Computers.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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Origin of timeout

First recorded in 1870–75; time + out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use timeout in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for timeout

time-out

noun
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
verb time out
(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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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