noun, plural time-outs.

  1. a brief suspension of activity; intermission or break.
  2. 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.


  1. sport an interruption in play during which players rest, discuss tactics, or make substitutions
  2. a break taken during working hours
  3. 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

  1. (intr) (of a computer) to stop operating because of a time-out

n.also time out, 1896 in sports, 1939 in other occupations; from 1980 as the name of a strategy in child discipline; from time + out.

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