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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.
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.
Computer Science To cease functioning after a period of idle time has elapsed: The server connection times out after 15 minutes.