In computing, a timeout is either an error condition or event that occurs when an event exceeds the time frame permitted to it, or the period of time allotted to a given event.

For an example of an event being a timeout, a network timeout [error] occurs when a response is expected from a networked device, but not received within a specified time period.

As an example of a timeout being defined as a period of time, ftp servers often have idle timeouts, after which inactive connections are closed.

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