Definition of break out in English:

break out

phrasal verb

  • 1(of war, fighting, or similarly undesirable things) start suddenly.

    ‘forest fires have broken out across Indonesia’
    • ‘When war broke out he willingly fought for Britain, and before being sent to France he adopted a British name so that he would not be shot as a traitor if captured.’
    • ‘I won't be at all surprised to find out that a fight broke out after I left.’
    • ‘She was crossing the road when gunfire broke out suddenly as a car drove by.’
    • ‘Police were called after fighting broke out among a group of around 40 men.’
    • ‘Riot police moved in when fighting broke out between the two sets of supporters inside the stadium during the first half.’
    • ‘The incident happened after a fight broke out between a group of up to six youngsters in the school's playground at about 8.45 am.’
    • ‘Many fights and minor scuffles broke out among the crowd and when officers tried to calm the situation the mob turned hostile.’
    • ‘A fight broke out early on Saturday morning, in the car park of the club.’
    • ‘A fire breaks out suddenly in the house of the Empress, due to negligence of one of her maids.’
    • ‘A violent fight broke out between the two groups of residents, with the brawl lasting for an hour and a half.’
    flare up, begin suddenly, start suddenly, erupt, burst out, blow up, set in
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    1. 1.1 (of a physical discomfort) suddenly manifest itself.
      ‘prickles of sweat had broken out along her backbone’
      • ‘You may suddenly break out into a sweat with cold, clammy skin.’
      • ‘And why was a little touch of cold sweat breaking out across her palms all of a sudden… ‘Yes?’’
      • ‘A sudden chill went down his spine, and sweat broke out on his hands and face.’
      • ‘A flush feeling came over my face as though I had suddenly broken out into a cold sweat.’
  • 2Escape.

    ‘a prisoner broke out of his cell’
    • ‘Should they manage to escape, they are to be pursued as dangerous fugitives and charged in the same way as convicts who break out of high security jails.’
    • ‘While on remand at Winchester Prison in January he had tried to break out of his cell.’
    • ‘He invites us to break out of the confinements of academic art and art history in order to open our eyes a little wider and take a glimpse at what is a far greater vision.’
    • ‘Yes, and once you're in the prison system it's very hard to break out of it.’
    • ‘Eventually convicted, he broke out of jail and formed the Stander Gang, which sometimes robbed four banks a day.’
    • ‘He broke out of jail and has been following me for the past three years.’
    • ‘It was too narrow, executives decided, and would do little to help the company break out of the event marketing niche.’
    • ‘He had served only 15 months of his sentence when he broke out of prison in 1965.’
    • ‘The comedy begins with two friends attempting to break out of jail.’
    • ‘The man had been shot dead trying to break out of jail.’
    escape from, make one's escape from, break loose from, burst out of, abscond from, flee from
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