Definition of out in English:

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Pronunciation: /out/


1Moving or appearing to move away from a particular place, especially one that is enclosed or hidden: he walked out into the street watch the stars come out
More example sentences
  • Then at midnight people just appeared out on the street with bubbly, singing Auld Lang Syne.
  • Fortunately I was able to move the car out, enabling me to get mother and her wheelchair into the car.
  • I stand up, a little bit more carefully than usual, and walk extra-steadily out to the car.
1.1Situated or operating in the open air, not in buildings: the search-and-rescue team have been out looking for you
More example sentences
  • I can tell when people are smoking nearby and I'm out in the open air and it just puts my back up.
  • Despite her exhaustion, she quickened her pace, eager to be out in the open air.
  • In a canoe and out in the open air there is plenty of fun to be had shooting the weirs and riding the waves.
1.2No longer detained in custody or in jail: they would be out on bail in no time
More example sentences
  • The judge imposed 12-month sentences for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, and said Hunter could be out in six months.
  • The 24 year-old is out on bail pending a court appearance on Monday.
  • By the time he gets out in eight years, he'll be … what? Thirty-three?
2Situated far or at a particular distance from somewhere: an old farmhouse right out in the middle of nowhere they lived eight miles out of town the team had put on a marvelous display out in Georgia
More example sentences
  • About two miles out from the pub, I developed another slow puncture in my rear tyre.
  • Half a mile out from the bay we cut the engine and raised the two sails.
  • Thirty yards out from the town goal on the grass embankment was where our group could be found.
2.1To sea, away from the land: the fleet put out from Cyprus
More example sentences
  • Still, better to be safe and on dry land than to be out at sea in the middle of all that chaos.
  • To obtain a complete overview of the ship, we swim along the main mast out to the open water.
  • A pair of longtail water taxis ferry divers, kit and the last of the supplies out to the mooring.
2.2(Of the tide) falling or at its lowest level: the tide was going out
More example sentences
  • He and his son had plunged from the bridge when the tide was out and fallen on to mud.
  • We often think of tides flowing in and out, but this is the effect of the water levels changing.
  • If the tide is out, there are usually half a dozen seals sleeping on the rocks, and we just sit there and watch.
3Away from home: he’s gone out
More example sentences
  • About two miles out from the pub, I developed another slow puncture in my rear tyre.
  • Half a mile out from the bay we cut the engine and raised the two sails.
  • Thirty yards out from the town goal on the grass embankment was where our group could be found.
3.1In a public place for purposes of pleasure or entertainment: an evening out at a restaurant
More example sentences
  • Young Continentals see drinking as an accessory to an evening out, not its main purpose.
  • The youth had been out for the evening with friends and had taken the N285 night bus home.
  • Mr Doyle went home, but his wife had gone out for the evening, so he went to a telephone box and called an ambulance.
4Indicating a specified distance away from the goal line or finishing line: he scored from 70 meters out
More example sentences
  • They were awarded a penalty for offside 10 yards out and Horne scored his fourth try.
  • Van Straaten converted again but then added a phenomenal penalty from 60 metres out.
  • Five minutes later, York were awarded a penalty 25 metres out in front of the posts.
5So as to be revealed or known: find out what you can
More example sentences
  • He only found out about the romance a few days before the alleged murder on July 24 this year.
  • Upon returning home I found out that snowball fights can be pretty tiring.
  • He has played a key role in growing the business by looking out for opportunities.
5.1Aloud; so as to be heard: Miss Beard cried out in horror
More example sentences
  • She told how she heard her daughter cry out as she was attacked and robbed of her mobile phone.
  • He later told his older sister that he heard his friend cry out after the explosion.
  • Nobody in the group heard her cry out and they were not aware she had fallen until they reached a gate and looked back.
6At or to an end: the romance fizzled out
More example sentences
  • They had a brief romance, which fizzled out when he joined the Royal Navy.
  • Negotiations between them fizzled out when the boxers failed to agree on a suitable weight.
  • Our direct interest in proceedings had fizzled out the day before, of course.
6.1So as to be finished or complete: I’ll leave them to fight it out I typed out the poem
More example sentences
  • The horse dropped back after the second last, leaving the other two to fight out a memorable finish.
  • In turn, the bigger clubs will fight it out for places in the premium-level Champions league.
  • Today, the winners of the different categories will also fight it out for the honour of being Best in Show.
6.2(In various other completive uses): the crowd had thinned out he crossed out a word
More example sentences
  • The weather is still glorious, the crowds have thinned out and prices have tumbled.
  • Some of the time the crowd drown him out completely, and he stalks the stage revelling in the adulation.
  • The last words were crossed out and new wording was substituted in manuscript.
7(Of a light or fire) so as to be extinguished or no longer burning: at ten o’clock the lights went out
More example sentences
  • One of the bartenders grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out and the fire alarm just went crazy.
  • The gas supply was turned off while they traced the leak to a pilot light that had gone out on a heater in one of the classrooms.
  • We found rare hours of quiet in the woods or at night after the bars and discos had closed and most of the lights had gone out.
7.1(Of a stain or mark) no longer visible; removed: try to get the stain out
More example sentences
  • I managed to get the stain out with some hydrogen peroxide and a little scrubbing.
  • My dress is ruined and I'll never get this stain out.
8(Of a party, politician, etc.) not in office.
Example sentences
  • He must stay in office until his party throws him out or the electorate throws out his party.
  • I sincerely hope that at the next election you and your party will be out, and all the place seekers with you.
  • It is time that these politicians were voted out and replaced by those accountable to the people.
9(Of a jury) considering its verdict in secrecy.
Example sentences
  • The trial took seven working days and the jury were out for approximately seven hours before they convicted on Count 1 and went on to consider Counts 2 and 3.
  • The jury were out the whole of the first day and sent a message that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.


Through to the outside: he ran out the door
More example sentences
  • He grabbed his keys and ran out the door.
  • He spent his lunch hours staring out the window, wishing he could be working outside on the farm.
  • Just before I could walk out the door he caught me by the arm.


1Not at home or at one’s place of work: if he called, she’d pretend to be out
More example sentences
  • Sorry, but if you're looking for my sister, she's out.
  • I phoned Hari but he was out, so I left a message with his concierge.
  • A few weeks later, a parcel arrived while I was out.
not here, not at home, not in, (gone) away, elsewhere, absent
2Revealed or made public: the secret was soon out
More example sentences
  • Look honey, your secret's out and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • The word inside the agency is that Leavitt is apparently furious that this news is out.
revealed, (out) in the open, common knowledge, public knowledge, known, disclosed, divulged
2.1(Of a flower) in bloom; open.
Example sentences
  • June, when the poppies are out, is one of the best times to visit Umbria.
  • The roses are out in our walled garden, and the sweet peas, and the apricot trees have finally got some very nice-looking fruit on them.
in flower, flowering, in (full) bloom, blooming, in blossom, blossoming, open
2.2Published: the book should be out before the end of the month
More example sentences
  • My new book is out in eight weeks.
  • According to the band, they are going to New York to record and the album should be out before the end of the year.
  • The new album is out next month and marks a return to U2's rock and roll roots.
available, for sale, obtainable, in stores, published, in print
2.3 informal In existence or in use: it works as well as any system that’s out
More example sentences
  • Technology is still working on improving our tan and there is a new system out called Airbrush Tanning.
  • To me he's the best underground producer out.
  • Runaway is the best adventure game out right now.
2.4Not concealing one’s homosexuality: I had been out since I was seventeen
More example sentences
  • I'm not out to my family, I don't want to lose any ties.
  • I've been out since I was 15.
  • Adam is out at work, and his colleagues know his boyfriend.
3No longer alight; extinguished: the fire was nearly out
More example sentences
  • The fire's out, but it's still smouldering.
  • The fire was nearly out when we arrived.
  • When I arrived at the dorm all the lights were out.
extinguished, no longer alight
4At an end: school was out for the summer
More example sentences
  • As soon as school was out, the boys and I took off.
  • The temperature's going to drop another ten degrees before the week's out.
  • He lists his achievements with the self-assurance of a man who will probably be a millionaire before the year's out.
4.1 informal No longer in fashion: life in the fast lane is out
More example sentences
  • Personally, I'm glad cowboy boots are out.
  • Celebrity stylist Luke O'Connor proclaimed ‘big hair and extensions are out’.
  • Yes it's true, straight hair is out and curls are in.
unfashionable, out of fashion, dated, outdated, passé
informal old hat, old school, not with it
5Not possible or worth considering: a trip to the seaside is out
More example sentences
  • We've already done a movie, so that's out.
  • The pool registers a seriously chilly 38 degrees, so swimming is out.
6In a state of unconsciousness.
Example sentences
  • He's been out since I settled him on the couch. He'll be unconscious for a while yet.
  • You were out cold for five minutes.
  • He said he was knocked unconscious and thought he had been out for about two hours.
6.1 Boxing Unable to rise before the count of ten.
7Mistaken; in error: he was slightly out in his calculations
More example sentences
  • Maureen could be relied on to get the scores totted up in double quick time and was never out in her calculations.
  • How could an organisation with a previously excellent record of financial management be shown to be so far out in its calculations?
  • The NRA's preliminary cost for the project was out by 46 percent.
8(Of the ball in tennis and similar games) outside the designated playing area.
Example sentences
  • Clijsters refused to comment when asked whether Henin-Hardenne might have influenced the umpire by indicating that the ball was out.
9 Baseball & Cricket No longer batting or on base, having had one’s turn ended by the team in the field: the Yankees are out in the ninth Johnson was out at second
More example sentences
  • Chris Taylor was out for a duck in the second over.
  • Gloucestershire were all out for 347 in their first innings.
  • Leiter was out at first, but Ordonez advanced to second while Jay Payton scored.


1 informal A way of escaping from a problem or dilemma: he was desperately looking for an out
More example sentences
  • These factors would give him many outs for not building a missile defense system.
  • He was becoming sloppy and careless - I think he was looking for an out.
  • Evans is reportedly looking for an out after spending £8m on the team.
2 Baseball An act of putting a player out.
Example sentences
  • The biggest difference between them is in the number of outs that these two players have generated over the course of their careers.
  • Well, if you strike out a bunch of guys and get the vast majority of the remaining outs via groundballs, you're not likely to allow too many home runs.
  • Simply put, the pitcher who can give up the least percentage of flyball outs is best on track for good overall numbers.
3 (the outs) The political party or politicians not in office.
Example sentences
  • The early Australian Labor Party, highly critical of the game of ins and outs in colonial politics, wanted the people to rule more directly.
  • Convinced that nothing would come of the political game of ins and outs, he turned away from parliament and the political parties in his search for sources of renewal.
  • This division between ins and outs had prompted a painful argument over the need to establish a forum for ministers from the ins, without causing a dangerous rupture from the outs.


1 [no object] Come or go out; emerge: the truth will out
More example sentences
  • And when the truth outs after you have tried assiduously to conceal it, the effect is very bad on credibility and so on.
  • The truth may cause me to lose my mates but the truth will out and soon.
2 [with object] informal Reveal the homosexuality of (a prominent person).
Example sentences
  • I don't think there is any good argument for outing a closeted politician who supports gay rights.
  • As we eventually learn, Marty could have been a contender too were it not for the fact that he was outed as gay in his youth, sending him scurrying into the closet.
  • The participant was a lesbian stepmom who said, ‘My son outed me to his preschool.’
expose, unmask


The use of out as a preposition (rather than the standard prepositional phrase out of), as in he threw it out the window, is common in informal contexts, and is standard in American, Australian, and New Zealand English. Traditionalists do not accept it as part of standard British English, however.



on the outs

In disagreement or dispute: on the outs with established political trends
More example sentences
  • Your two best friends Amanda and Ashley are on the outs because Amanda has been spilling Ashley's secrets.
  • This doesn't mean the two are on the outs, however; close friends say he's never invited girls over to meet the family on the traditional holiday.
  • We're kind of on the outs right now.

out and about

(Of a person, especially after inactivity) engaging in normal activity.
Example sentences
  • Again, this was all due to my illness and generally not getting out and about.
  • Many of the activities for the next seven days focus on getting out and about in the Ilkley area.
  • Maria is currently a bit under the weather and all her friends and family hope to see her out and about again real soon.

out for

Intent on having: he was out for a good time
More example sentences
  • The club was packed with high-spirited young holidaymakers out for a good time.
  • It finally dawned on me that she was just out for what she could get.
  • He insisted he was not out for revenge.

out of

Pronunciation: /ˈout əv/
1Indicating the source or derivation of something; from: a bench fashioned out of a fallen tree trunk you should not expect too much out of life
More example sentences
  • Fashioned out of rich black walnut, the chair is as much art as it is furniture.
  • Attempts were made to set fire to another bench created out of recycled plastic and part of this has melted.
  • It's just a way of making lots and lots of money out of the tax payer.
1.1Having (the thing mentioned) as a motivation: she did it out of spite
More example sentences
  • Does it mean acting out of fear and resentment rather than intelligence and restraint?
  • Acting out of an exaggerated concern for risk tends to create real problems for society.
  • If you have skimmed milk they'll push the bottle over just out of spite.
1.2Indicating the dam of a pedigree animal, especially a horse.
Example sentences
  • Red Rum was out of a lunatic mare, and trained from the back of a car showroom in Southport.
  • He's out of a Hanoverian mare from California named Over Ice. I
  • The Kentucky-bred filly is out of the Green Dancer mare Whisper Who Dares.
2From among (a number): nine times out of ten
More example sentences
  • Nine times out of ten this is a big mistake.
  • In a survey of users, more than nine out of ten said they would be back.
  • Nine out of ten people are there to study and prepare for the upcoming school or job exam or test.
3Not having (a particular thing): they had run out of cash
More example sentences
  • If the culprit is depleted uranium they are probably out of luck because any clean up would take a very long time and cost a lot of money.
  • Lee needed some cash so he walked to the bank machine and it was out of cash.
  • My guess is that it was never released over here, so I may be out of luck.

out of it

1Not included; rejected: I hate feeling out of it
More example sentences
  • I'm not from a theatrical background… I didn't have any confidence and I felt out of it.
  • When they talked about things at school, I felt so out of it. I really missed being like them!
2Unaware of what is happening as a result of being uninformed.
Example sentences
  • I am always being accused of being out of it, so it's reassuring to know that ignorance is a two-way street.
2.1Unable to think or react properly as a result of being drowsy.
Example sentences
  • She would be awake, yet confused and out of it, not completely there.
  • And he looked rather distraught, somewhat out of it, and not at his best for sure.
  • I was too out of it to sit up or hold the baby, so the nurse brought her over to me before they took us to our room and I kissed her goodnight.

out to

Keenly striving to: they were out to impress
More example sentences
  • We need people who are fair and not just out to look after their personal interests.
  • Six months ago I would have thought that cute little thing was a killer and out to get me.
  • So, do you ever have days when you find the inanimate objects in your house are out to get you?

out with

An exhortation to expel or dismiss (an unwanted person or thing).
Example sentences
  • Out with the old, and in with the new.
  • Out with Howard, in with Boris!

out with it

Say what you are thinking.
Example sentences
  • ‘I love Liana,’ he said, coming right out with it.
  • Come on, love, don't be shy, out with it, out with it!
  • ‘Well, out with it,’ I waved a hand at the lanky soldier.


Old English ūt (adverb), ūtian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch uit and German aus.

  • closet from Late Middle English:

    Although closet is now the usual word in American English for a cupboard or wardrobe, it originally referred to a small private room, such as one for study or prayer. This idea of privacy led to the sense of hiding a fact or keeping something secret, which goes right back to the beginning of the 17th century. A person who is hiding the fact that they are gay has been described as in the closet, or as a closet homosexual, since the late 1960s. To out someone, meaning to reveal that they are gay, is a shortened way of saying ‘to force them out of the closet’. Closet comes from close (Middle English), which both in the sense ‘near’ and ‘shut’ go back to Latin claudere ‘to shut’, also the source of recluse (Middle English), someone who shuts themselves away.

Words that rhyme with out

about, bout, clout, devout, doubt, down-and-out, drought, flout, gout, grout, knout, lout, mahout, misdoubt, nowt, out-and-out, owt, pout, Prout, right about, rout, scout, shout, snout, spout, sprout, stout, thereabout, thereout, throughout, timeout, tout, trout, way-out, without

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: out

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