Definition of breakout in English:



  • 1A forcible escape, especially from prison.

    ‘a prison breakout’
    • ‘When there was a prison breakout by a dangerous offender in his first week on the job, the PLP said that certain people were out to discredit our national pig sty keeper.’
    • ‘There had been nineteen more successful breakouts from prisons across the country.’
    • ‘In related news, check out this report on an animal rights zealot allegedly planning a jail breakout.’
    • ‘There have been forced deportations, breakouts, riots and hunger strikes at the harshest ones.’
    • ‘All of them were wearing standard prison issue clothes, and it took Rob only a few seconds to work out that there had been a mass breakout at the prison.’
    • ‘The breakout brings to 15 the number of awaiting-trial prisoners who have escaped from police holding cells in the Transkei since the weekend.’
    • ‘For a prison breakout film to work successfully, it must have one of three things.’
    • ‘The camps are run by a private prison company and have seen several riots, mass breakouts and suicide attempts in recent months.’
    • ‘There were breakouts from Sobibor and Treblika.’
    • ‘Arrested for involvement in the murder, he was one of eight prisoners who made a spectacular breakout from prison in 1981, while on remand.’
    • ‘As patriotic sansculottes were urged to join up, anxiety spread about a possible prison breakout in their absence.’
    • ‘Around the country, prison breakouts were happening at all jails.’
    • ‘Then I learn from the newspaper that because of a recent prison breakout, a state of emergency has been declared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I do agree however, that security should be boosted in many prisons to reduce the likelihood of breakouts.’
    • ‘In 1970 the FBI put her on their most wanted list, accusing her of supplying guns for a breakout from Soledad prison.’
    • ‘Tensions have been simmering since the breakout in June, when inmates marched out of the compound into the local town to publicise their grievances.’
    • ‘The film is roughly based on the true story of a massive breakout from a German prison camp in Poland during World War II.’
    • ‘Some 38 prisoners escaped in a breakout that also resulted in the death of a prison officer and several others sustaining injuries.’
    • ‘The protesters, who stated that they entered the camp's outer perimeter to conduct interviews with detainees, described the breakout as a spontaneous action initiated by the asylum seekers.’
    escape, breakout, break, bolt for freedom, running away, flight, bolting, absconding, decamping, fleeing, flit
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    1. 1.1(in soccer and other sports) a sudden attack by a team that has been defending.
      ‘the Dutch tend to be defensive and go for the breakout’
      • ‘What we saw at the start of the 2004 season was the potential for a breakout of young pitching dominance.’
      • ‘At best, he'll have a Pie-like breakout on the mound.’
      • ‘You could almost understand why there is hope for a real breakout.’
      • ‘Wimbledon resisted Cobham's attacks until the game-winning breakout by Grafton.’
      • ‘And that leads us to the obvious questions: Which teams are poised for a breakout in 2002?’
      • ‘In a system that has seen quite a few breakouts this season, Hirsh might be the biggest surprise.’
      • ‘‘And I was him, and this would remain the sudden breakout which brought me stardom overnight,’ he said.’
      • ‘Are the defensemen pinching down along the boards to halt breakouts?’
      • ‘Petit is another that, even if we didn't see the degree of his breakout, we should have better recognized him before the season.’
      • ‘It was breakouts like this that prompted Carlson to say afterwards: ‘I never felt that we were ever going to win comfortably.’’
      • ‘One of Grindelton's breakouts, after 35 minutes, however, was to prove the game's talking point.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's one of the Southern League's most dominant hitters at the age of twenty, and his numbers reflect a huge breakout down the road.’
      • ‘On the topic of breakouts, who would be the one prospect you circle to have a big year in 2005, but didn't make a lot of noise this year?’
      • ‘There were no breakouts, flanking attacks or sweeping maneuvers.’
      • ‘Boston is still far and away the second best team in their division, and barring any freak breakouts, should win the Wild Card in 2004.’
      • ‘But today I'm going to go out on a limb, and predict the breakout of two more pitching prospects.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now they were caught off guard by the sudden breakout of the defending forces.’
  • 2An outbreak.

    ‘a breakout of hostilities’
    • ‘During the epidemic breakout, he recalls, cases were reported from Andhra Pradesh too.’
    • ‘Strategies for containing breakouts of contagious diseases could be shared, globally and in real time, across languages and technologies.’
    • ‘How ethical would it be to let millions of livestock be slaughtered [if there were a major spongiform breakout in the United States]?’
    • ‘The biggest challenge before the district health authorities is to check the breakout of water-borne diseases during the monsoon.’
    • ‘She realised months before the breakout of hostilities that her nursing skills would in all probability lead to her being sent to the Gulf.’
    • ‘It has taken five years of work by Scholin and Gene Massion, an MBARI mechanical engineer, to develop an instrument to predict such blooms in the same way that the Centers for Disease Control forecasts flu breakouts.’
    • ‘There has been plenty of concern over the possible effects of the Foot and Mouth breakout on racing but hopefully the game will escape.’
    outbreak, flare-up, upsurge, outburst, epidemic, breakout, sudden appearance, start, rash, wave, spate, flood, explosion, burst, blaze, flurry
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  • 3[mass noun] The deformation or splintering of wood, stone, or other material being drilled or planed.

    ‘avoid breakout and fluffy edges’
    • ‘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
  • 1Suddenly and extremely popular or successful.

    ‘a breakout movie’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Luckily for him, this year happens to be the 30th anniversary of Born To Run, Springsteen's breakout album, and apparently the 27th best album of all time.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, it deserves the same breakout success enjoyed last year by the similarly toned Saw.’
    • ‘We're thrilled to be making a second series of this breakout show to be exclusively broadcast on FOX8.’
    • ‘I think she may be the breakout star of this thing.’
    • ‘I had been in the league a few years and had had some success - some big games - but 1989 was my breakout year.’
    • ‘Last season, the SFU women's volleyball had a breakout year, making the playoffs for the first time ever with an impressive 19-13 record.’
    • ‘He always wanted to be the breakout star at all costs.’
    • ‘I am hoping that Mission: Impossible II will be the breakout movie for Thandie Newton.’
    • ‘As for the breakout musicians, their brief moments of capital-raking before being consumed live on reality TV will hardly be worth the embarrassment.’
    • ‘Jackie Clune is making a bolt for breakout popularity at last.’
    • ‘One inevitable response to breakout success is the charge that an artist is pandering to the masses.’
    • ‘And it could've been a breakout success if only his reach hadn't extended so far.’
    • ‘Warcraft is becoming something of a breakout success, and there are roughly half a million players in Europe alone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From the first moment of this film, Black exudes a comic presence I haven't seen from him, or from anybody for that matter, since his breakout performance in High Fidelity.’
    • ‘There were several breakout hits, films that commanded both critical kudos and broad audience appeal, assuring substantive box-office numbers.’
    • ‘By its third season, Gilmore Girls had moved from a breakout success on a still emerging network to a staple program on the Warner Brothers schedule, featuring a cavalcade of young stars.’
    • ‘As for Berry, she won the award, looks amazing, and is obviously the breakout star of the night.’
    • ‘The film actually made money, but it was not, as we'd say these days, a breakout success.’
  • 2Denoting a group which breaks away from a larger gathering for discussion.

    ‘breakout discussion groups’
    • ‘It has two restaurants - one Chinese and one Western-style - and 740 square metres of meeting facilities, including a ballroom and five breakout rooms.’
    • ‘After the main presentations, an hour will be devoted to breakout sessions in which executive development hurdles and needs would be explored.’
    • ‘Start the day with a brief welcome followed by the first concurrent, or breakout, sessions.’
    • ‘First, there are the technical tracks where you can attend one of the 120 breakout sessions held every day at specified times.’
    • ‘Additional afternoon breakout sessions will address the correlation between camp and community and leadership.’
    • ‘In lectures and breakout groups, workshop participants examined the possibilities and pitfalls of finding a space to call home.’
    • ‘Box Clever Theatre Company presented a number of scenarios on street crime, which pupils then discussed in breakout groups.’
    • ‘In total, these students generated 971 responses to three key challenge questions addressed in the small-group discussions held in the breakout sessions.’
    • ‘If there are to be breakout groups or presentations conducted by one or more of the attendees, this needs to be communicated to these individuals so that they have ample time to prepare.’
    • ‘There were then breakout groups that were facilitated by building administrators.’
    • ‘We used breakout groups by grade level for student discipline issues, budgets, curriculum issues, and the use of technology to improve professional efficiency.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the course, the students were divided into small groups to analyze and dissect clinical case studies during breakout group discussions.’
    • ‘There are breakfast bars, breakout rooms and brightly coloured curved interior walls - features more typical perhaps of a Soho advertising agency rather than a merchant bank.’
    • ‘She delivers keynotes and breakout sessions for conferences and organizations across the United States, Canada and Europe.’
    • ‘In Summit I, four breakout groups identified the ‘components of the problem’.’
    • ‘Not an hour later the windows of our boardroom shook as an explosion a block away tore a bus to pieces and everyone was called to the breakout room for a reassuring damage control conversation.’
    • ‘All plenary and breakout group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed.’
    • ‘The students also practice analyzing case reports involving these drugs in the breakout groups.’
    • ‘This could be due to a lack of communication on how the breakout group was intended to be conducted.’
    • ‘A buffet had been placed in the breakout area today and within 5 minutes the plates and serviettes had been unwrapped and a serviette taken.’