time out

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time out • n. 1. time for rest or recreation away from one's usual work or studies: she is taking time out from her hectic tour. ∎  (usu. timeout or time-out) a brief break in play in a game or sport: he inadvertently called for a timeout with two seconds remaining. ∎  (also timeout or time-out) an imposed temporary suspension of activities, esp. the separation of a misbehaving child from one or more playmates as a disciplinary measure: it's the third time this week he's been in time-out. 2. (usu. timeout) Comput. a cancellation or cessation that automatically occurs when a predefined interval of time has passed without a certain event occurring.