five-second rule

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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Five-second rule (food) as presented in a WikiWorld comic.


five-second rule (plural five-second rules)

  1. Any rule that allows or prohibits certain behavior for five seconds after some event, especially:
    1. (informal) The belief that food dropped on the ground may safely be eaten provided it is picked up within five seconds of touching the ground.
      • 2007-05-09, Harold McGee, The New York Times, "The Five-Second Rule Explored, or How Dirty Is That Bologna?", page F3
        Accompanied by six graphs, two tables and equations whose terms include “bologna” and “carpet,” it’s a thorough microbiological study of the five-second rule: the idea that if you pick up a dropped piece of food before you can count to five, it’s O.K. to eat it.
      • 2010, Sandy Donovan, Does an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?, [1]:
      • 2012, William A. Dando, Food and Famine in the 21st Century, page 201:
        Here are five facts to remember for those who are tempted to apply the five-second rule.
      • 2015, Curious George Discovers Germs, [2]:
        Often, people call out the five-second rule because they think that if you get food off the floor quickly enough, there won't be any germs on it.
    2. (basketball) A rule that a closely-guarded player cannot hold the ball for more than five seconds without dribbling, passing, rolling, or shooting the ball.
    3. (basketball) A rule that a player who throws in the ball from out of bounds must get rid of it in less than five seconds.

Related terms[edit]