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informal A term of imprisonment. Used especially in the phrase "do time." Did you hear that Rick's an ex-con? He did time back in the '70s. Looks like she's going to be doing some time for her role in the embezzlement scheme.
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.
Stop everything for just a minute! "Hey, stop a minute! Time out!" yelled Mary as the argument grew in intensity. Right in the middle of the discussion, Alice said, "Time!" Then she announced that dinner was ready.
time someone out
to record someone's departure time. Harry had to time everyone out because the time clock was broken. I had to time out everyone.
1. to record one's departure time. Did you remember to time out when you left work? I timed out at the regular time.
2. a call for officially stopping the clock in a game. Time out! Wally is injured!
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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Computer Science To cease functioning after a period of idle time has elapsed: The server connection times out after 15 minutes.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
exclam. Stop talking for a minute! (A way of interrupting someone.) Just a minute! Time out! I want to speak!
See also: time
See Time out!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.