down·​time | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌtīm How to pronounce downtime (audio) \

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

Then there's the difference in how each group spends their downtime. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 7, 2019," 7 July 2019 Adding to their stress are lengthy stretches of downtime interrupted by the need to handle dangerous equipment, sometimes in emergency conditions. Beau Evans,, "Sewerage & Water Board employees, clocking long hours, long to be heard – not watched," 28 June 2019 Many kids enjoy technology and use screens to connect with their friends or fill their downtime. Katie Hurley, Washington Post, "Kids’ anxiety can spike during the summer. Here’s why, and what parents can do to help.," 20 June 2019 The past two years, however, the Warriors found alternate ways to to fill their downtime at the nation’s capital. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Will President Trump invite hostile foreign power Toronto Raptors to the White House?," 14 June 2019 In that sense, the onus is also on individuals who may suffer from burnout to be proactive about unplugging and incorporating stress-relieving activities into their downtime. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Workplace Burnout Is Officially an “Occupational Phenomenon”—Here’s What You Can Do About It," 29 May 2019 During some downtime between stops on BTS' Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Stadium Tour, Jungkook caught an Ariana Grande show in Los Angeles and stood in the front row. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Ariana Grande and Jungkook of BTS Took a Glowing Post-Concert Photo, and Their Skin Is Gleaming," 8 May 2019 Graves’s poems, produced amazingly during downtime from fighting, are grittily realistic. David Yezzi, WSJ, "‘Robert Graves’ Review: A Poet of Love and War," 23 Nov. 2018 During downtime, his eyes are tracking my living room, pausing on certain corners, quickly darting away, and then back. Amy Preiser, House Beautiful, "My 30-Minute, $0 Nate Berkus Living Room Makeover," 7 Oct. 2014

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

11 Jul 2019

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

US : time when you are not working or busy
: time during which a computer or machine is not working

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on downtime

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downtime

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downtime

Nglish: Translation of downtime for Spanish Speakers

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!