Definition of bout in English:



  • 1A short period of intense activity of a specified kind.

    ‘occasional bouts of strenuous exercise’
    ‘a drinking bout’
    • ‘Usually these writing bouts are intensive periods of a week or so.’
    • ‘It's so much easier to study after a refreshing bout of exercise, you feel so much better and more alert for exercising.’
    • ‘I was engulfed in a bout of intense work, which perhaps the etching registered.’
    • ‘Thiamine can help improve your memory and recall, increase muscle control, and increase muscle endurance during short bouts of intense activity.’
    • ‘This is a tragic fallout from the intense bout of politiking we have had for 15-odd years.’
    • ‘Abstaining from alcohol or tobacco did little to soothe hunger pangs and gave rise to occasional bouts of short temper even among the more devout.’
    • ‘The model is one of repeated disturbance with repeated bouts of intense exercise being undertaken, where the deer will run initially close to its maximum pace.’
    • ‘She can stand, but not for lengthy periods of time, and endures bouts of intense pain.’
    • ‘It is a chronic condition that can cause periodic bouts of intense abdominal pain.’
    • ‘Geologists, however, consider mud volcanoes unpredictable, and there is still considerable controversy about their origin and bouts of activity.’
    • ‘This amounts to five hundred pages of self-obsessed navel-gazing, interspersed with intense bouts of self-loathing and lame jokes.’
    • ‘With interval training, repeated bouts of high intensity work are performed with periods of recovery.’
    • ‘He said this did not mean taking up strenuous workout programmes, but daily short bouts of activity, such as vacuuming or mowing the lawn, could contribute to the overall total.’
    • ‘The periods between bouts of drinking got shorter and the drinking bouts themselves got longer.’
    • ‘Short bouts of intense social stress improved the ability in the mice to recover from the flu.’
    • ‘This can include several short bouts of activity in a day.’
    • ‘The bouts are short consisting of 3 x 2 minute rounds played out over a soundtrack of traditional Thai music.’
    • ‘Yesterday we drove home from Family Christmas In Devon, which as ever mainly involved eating with short bouts of inactivity in between.’
    • ‘To take advantage of this gender difference, challenge your guy to sports that have short to moderate bouts of intense activity broken up by rest periods.’
    • ‘Short bouts of exercise are undoubtedly a good way to get fit fast, but what about the psychological benefits of slow, steady distance work?’
    spell, period, time, stretch, stint, turn, run, session, round, cycle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An attack of illness or strong emotion.
      ‘a severe bout of flu’
      • ‘Roth has been quiet ever since, prompting some to suggest that he had been suffering from a severe bout of writers' block.’
      • ‘Finally, I have suffered several bouts of clinical depression.’
      • ‘Kevin, who is recuperating after a bout of illness, is well on the road to a full recovery and back active in Irish-American circles once again.’
      • ‘The early deaths of his children would later lead to bouts of depression and emotional suffering.’
      • ‘His men weren't given to strong bouts of emotion, which was how he'd designed them to be.’
      • ‘The reports contradict the official word from the Vatican, where spokesmen have maintained the frail Pope suffered a bout of the flu.’
      • ‘The vaccine also protects you against contracting severe bouts of illness.’
      • ‘But that's enough of that lest I be accused of a bout of Short Man's Syndrome or some such.’
      • ‘Next I began having full-blown panic attacks and a bout of depression.’
      • ‘This period of strong emotion usually gives way to bouts of intense sadness, silence and withdrawal from family and friends.’
      • ‘In the following years, she learned who her friends really were and fought her way back from a severe depression and bouts of shame and guilt.’
      • ‘His readmission prompted a severe bout of post-operative depression - which doctors had told him to expect - but he didn't expect it to hit him so hard.’
      • ‘It became routine to cry it all out, suffer these bouts of emotional pain and return to classes or normal life without anyone noticing anything different.’
      • ‘Despite bouts of poverty, illness and alcoholism, Morriseau has come to be regarded as one of this country's most important artists.’
      • ‘Several newspapers have emphasised a claim that the Scot suffered from bouts of mental illness - at ‘about the same time’ he converted to Islam.’
      • ‘The sad truth is that one in five of us will suffer from a bout of severe depressive illness and many more will dip in and out of milder depressions.’
      • ‘Gloomy winter days often leave us feeling low but for some they can spark bouts of severe depression.’
      • ‘It was also revealed the 31-year-old suffered severe bouts of depression.’
      • ‘It is important that an epileptic does not experience severe bouts of anger, as this can precipitate an epileptic attack.’
      • ‘She still suffers from bouts of vomiting blood, headache and giddiness.’
      attack, fit, spasm, paroxysm, convulsion, eruption, outbreak, outburst, burst, spell, dose
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A wrestling or boxing match.
      ‘he fought 350 bouts, losing only nine times’
      • ‘If neither contestant withdraws during a contest, males engage in discrete wrestling bouts, in which they attempt to clasp and submerge their opponent.’
      • ‘The phrase originates from the days of early bare-knuckle boxing or prizefighting bouts, a time long before any rules were produced by the Marquess of Queensberry.’
      • ‘Mind you, it's my Grandparents 60th Anniversary today and I'm having lunch with them on Friday; I could see if they're up for a bout in the boxing ring!’
      • ‘While presiding over the wrestling bouts of the other village boys he would never allow me to take on anybody since he knew I wasn't as tough.’
      • ‘When he got back to wrestling, the bout got a lot better.’
      • ‘We were larking around with a bout of on-street wrestling when I noticed a pile of rotten vegetables on a deserted stall.’
      • ‘The final bout in the boxing ring is genuinely exciting, although the evening seems to tail off, lacking a real ending.’
      • ‘But it is not permitted to use serious tricks when the wrestling bout is between friends.’
      • ‘At the end of the bout, which I lost, the fans chanted ‘Please come back,’ and I was genuinely moved by that.’
      • ‘It may be, as has been suggested, that what they are actually seeing is a bout of traditional Celtic wrestling.’
      • ‘Have our American fighters fight more international bouts.’
      • ‘He was forced to take a couple of punches in the first few seconds of the bout, but he fought back and was well on top at the end of the opening round.’
      • ‘Sumo bouts by professional wrestlers are being staged in South Korea for the first time since the end of World War II.’
      • ‘They continue up the ladder and, after a number of years, are judging big-time fights - in some cases, championship bouts.’
      • ‘In the evening, a boxing bout at the MEN Arena could attract a crowd of 15,000.’
      • ‘The Holmes-Norton title fight ranks up there with the greatest Heavyweight Championship bouts of all time.’
      • ‘Similar to the previous title, you'll have the option to choose pickup games, quick matches and online bouts against competitors.’
      • ‘Others went so far as to stage bouts between professional Sumo wrestlers and jujitsu men.’
      • ‘There are the naysayers, of course, who claim the wrestling bouts are all staged.’
      • ‘Fox's Celebrity Boxing scored a knockout in the ratings ring, undoubtedly ensuring a long string of rematches, grudge matches and return bouts.’
      contest, match, round, heat, competition, tournament, event, meeting, meet, fixture, game
      View synonyms
  • 2A curve in the side of a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument.

    • ‘Some models give you a removable upper bout emulator.’
    • ‘This mounts the output jack on the lower left bout of the violin (next to the chin rest) with chin rest clamp hardware.’
    • ‘This five-string instrument has a violin string length but also has an extended lower bout and deep ribs for a more viola-like tone.’
    • ‘The bights are looped about the bout and the end peg and thus permit removable mounting of the support member to the violin.’
    • ‘The upper bout is intended to accurately simulate the feel of the rib and edges of an acoustic violin and is used to help players with classical training find their upper positions more accurately.’


Mid 16th century (denoting a curve or circuit, hence later a ‘turn’ of activity): from dialect bought ‘bend, loop’; probably of Low German origin.