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1. noun A brief pause, break, or hiatus from something. I wish I had taken time out before starting this job—that might have kept me from getting burned out so quickly, Take time out for lunch. Work will still be here when you get back.
2. noun In sports, an official break in play allotted to each team. Sometimes hyphenated. They had better take a time-out here to set up a play. They burned their time-outs earlier in the half, so they have none remaining.
3. noun A punishment for young children who have misbehaved that consists of secluding them from activities and other people for a brief period of time. Sometimes hyphenated. If you keep throwing your toys like that, I'm going to give you a time out! I think he might need a time-out.
4. verb To cease or suspend operation, especially after being idle for a certain period of time. The demo of the video game will time out after 15 minutes. To save power and reduce the risk of harming the display, computer monitors are set to time out after 20 minutes of inactivity.
5. interjection Stop the clock. Said during sporting events. Time out, ref! One of our guys is injured.
6. interjection By extension, stop talking or doing what you're doing. OK, wait, time out—you didn't tell me that you and Tom were dating again! Time out! We are not driving this car another foot if you are going to keep acting like this!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.