Definition of breakout in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrākˌout/


1A forcible escape, typically from prison: a prison breakout
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  • The escape was the second breakout from Paparua Prison this year in which a ladder was used, raising questions about how inmates can get such equipment.
  • The film is roughly based on the true story of a massive breakout from a German prison camp in Poland during World War II.
  • Around the country, prison breakouts were happening at all jails.
1.1 [in singular] (In soccer, hockey, and other sports) a sudden attack by a team that had been defending.
Example sentences
  • Scouts are looking for everything: set plays, breakouts, where and how teams and key players like to enter the offensive zone, and who takes the draws in what zones.
  • The Yankees only scored 12 runs in the first four games of the A's series and hit just .221 as a team until their first-inning breakout on Sunday.
  • Watching the game in the Flyers' video room during home games or the coaches' room during road games, he hits designated computer keys to mark breakouts, power plays, penalty kills and scoring chances.
2 [in singular] An outbreak: a breakout of hostilities
More example sentences
  • She realised months before the breakout of hostilities that her nursing skills would in all probability lead to her being sent to the Gulf.
  • The biggest challenge before the district health authorities is to check the breakout of water-borne diseases during the monsoon.
  • During the epidemic breakout, he recalls, cases were reported from Andhra Pradesh too.
3A categorized list: an excellent breakout of websites by topic
More example sentences
  • Table 1 provides summary information regarding the breakout of these categories.
  • Below is a Department-level breakout of the signers.
  • There is liberal use of line figures, tables, photos and illustrations of world-class swimmers, and breakouts where key concepts are summarized in bullet-point format.
4A sudden advance to a new level: gold was overdue for a breakout
More example sentences
  • That was the first time since gold's famous 1980 breakout that such a parting of the ways was about to coincide with an ‘assigned domain’ switch.
  • Today, I'd consider buying once again, if and when this breakout proves itself.
  • The irony of all this is that in every way but financial, the tech industry is poised for its next great breakout.
5The deformation or splintering of wood, stone, or other material being drilled or planed.
Example sentences
  • This assumption is validated by observations of borehole breakout, the formation of margin-parallel normal growth faults and structural analogue modelling.
  • The best way to prevent breakout is to use a scrap wood plug on the inside of the tubing during drilling operations.


North American informal
1Suddenly and extremely popular or successful: a breakout movie
More example sentences
  • I obviously haven't seen every movie, but between the ones I have seen and the buzz around some of the others, and the subject matter of others still, Groove could be the breakout movie.
  • I am hoping that Mission: Impossible II will be the breakout movie for Thandie Newton.
  • In retrospect, the massive breakout success of the first Matrix flick - the bullet in the brainpan of the old dog Star Wars - makes perfect sense.
2Denoting or relating to groups that break away from a conference or other larger gathering for discussion: we divided into 15 breakout groups
More example sentences
  • At the beginning of the course, the students were divided into small groups to analyze and dissect clinical case studies during breakout group discussions.
  • All plenary and breakout group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed.
  • Box Clever Theatre Company presented a number of scenarios on street crime, which pupils then discussed in breakout groups.

Words that rhyme with breakout

stakeout, takeout

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: break·out

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