down·​time | \ˈdau̇n-ˌtīm \

Definition of downtime 

1 : time during which production is stopped especially during setup for an operation or when making repairs

2 : inactive time (such as time between periods of work) napping during our downtime an injured athlete facing months of downtime

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for downtime


layoff, time-out, winter

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of downtime in a Sentence

After a busy day at work, I look forward to some downtime at home. The kids napped during their downtime. We need to minimize network downtime.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In her downtime, Jasmine's not one to lounge in her pajamas or on the beach all day, every day. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "10 Things You Don't Know About HGTV's Jasmine Roth," 11 Sep. 2018 The summer used to be calmer for Nash and McCaney, but now there is no downtime. Courtney Becker,, "When Sister Nora talks, her voice is soft, but executives listen," 6 July 2018 After the hard work of doing things like tightening the lashing gear on the high stacks of containers, Machado spends his limited downtime creating art in his cabin. Jessica Zack, San Francisco Chronicle, "Modern maritime artist in SF plies high seas, then his brush," 5 June 2018 By monitoring a company’s computer system, an MSD can prevent downtime and detect/fix security threats. Joseph A. Mann Jr., miamiherald, "Kaseya helps businesses keep their IT systems running," 1 Feb. 2018 Guess the real-life Beth and Randall had some downtime on the set., "Is This An Official Petition For Drake To Join This Is Us?," 10 July 2018 But their baby-to-be is in for a low-key childhood if her parents’ downtime routine is any indication. Nick Maslow,, "Chanel Iman Is Pregnant! Victoria's Secret Angel to Become Mom for First Time," 13 May 2018 Any other downtime prior, would cause significant disruption to campus operations. . . Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What’s going on at the nation’s premier historically black university?," 7 June 2018 Instead of filling your downtime feeling, well, down, pick up a new hobby. Erin Nicole Celletti, Teen Vogue, "College Applications: Ways to Relax Once You’ve Submitted Your Apps," 8 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downtime.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of downtime

1928, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downtime

Statistics for downtime

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downtime

The first known use of downtime was in 1928

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downtime



English Language Learners Definition of downtime

: time when you are not working or busy

: time during which a computer or machine is not working

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on downtime

What made you want to look up downtime? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!