A time-out may refer to any of the following:
1. When referring to data communications, a time-out (or timeout) is a disconnection that occurs because of inactivity of data transmission. For example, a time-out may happen if a modem is connected to the Internet but was idle for too long. Many ISPs set a time-out to occur if no data is communicated after a set time limit to help keep phone lines available for other users.
2. A time-out is an error that occurs when a program does not receive a response from the computer, another program, or another computer. Depending on how the program is written, this error may cause the program to quit or an error message. For example, when using the ping command to ping another computer if that computer never responds a time-out error is received.