Definition of out of bounds in English:

out of bounds


  • 1Outside the part of a sports field or court in which play is conducted.

    ‘he hit his third shot out of bounds at the 17th’
    • ‘Blocked shots almost always go out of bounds or result in a foul.’
    • ‘She then appeared to lose a step, dropping four straight games during a stretch when she double-faulted three times and saw her long ground strokes carry out of bounds on the clay court.’
    • ‘Kicks and punts angled to the comers invariably seem to go out of bounds, which costs the team in field position.’
    • ‘I see a kid get the ball out of bounds, come down the court going between his legs and behind his back repeatedly without reason.’
    • ‘Instead, the former quarterback sprinted all the way back across the field and out of bounds right at the first-down marker.’
    • ‘Trying for more yardage after a reception instead of calling a timeout or going out of bounds, he ran out the dock, costing his team an attempt at a game-winning field goal.’
    • ‘He fields the kick and instantly stumbles out of bounds.’
    • ‘Once a basket is scored, the ball passes to the opposition who start play out of bounds at the end of the court and pass it in-bounds.’
    • ‘He blocked a shot out of bounds and lobbied for possession.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, her shot hit the goal post and bounced out of bounds.’
  • 2Outside the limits of where one is permitted to be.

    ‘his kitchen was out of bounds to me at mealtimes’
    • ‘As a result of suspected malicious damage to the water fountain at Riverside Park the fountain is out of bounds to all comers to the park.’
    • ‘The Bellary Road, which has been earmarked for the parking of VIP vehicles, has become a restricted area, out of bounds to other commuters.’
    • ‘None of them could watch anything because the day room was put out of bounds to them.’
    • ‘Large areas of the countryside were out of bounds to both city and rural dwellers today as Government officials tried to halt the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.’
    • ‘It was feared that up to 80 square miles of the park would have to be put out of bounds to climbers and walkers following the recent dry weather and the danger of two fires that raged last week.’
    • ‘All of these, he says, are part of the ‘common wealth’ that needs to be protected from being sold off and becoming out of bounds to those who won't pay the entrance fee.’
    • ‘The main car park at the 900-acre Bishop Wood, near Selby, is now out of bounds to motorists.’
    • ‘This not only provides a circular reservoir walk but also allows access to views of the water from areas that were previously out of bounds to the public.’
    • ‘A quarter of the playground is still out of bounds to children until resurfacing work, at an estimated cost of £1, 000, is carried out.’
    • ‘He invited me into the section out of bounds to the public.’
    off limits, restricted, reserved, closed off
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Beyond what is acceptable.
      ‘Paul felt that this conversation was getting out of bounds’
      • ‘Another possibility is that the rhetoric reframes the debate entirely, making it impossible to mount a defense of an issue without seeming to be out of bounds.’
      • ‘For the busy lady this posed something of a nightmare as sandwiches were forbidden and a nice plate of pasta with sauce was out of bounds.’
      • ‘Do you consider anything out of bounds anymore?’
      • ‘And I bet you'll see tonight members of the audience ask questions that, you know, just four or eight years ago would have frankly seemed a little out of bounds.’
      • ‘I don't think it's out of bounds to say that that last comment that she made that was very controversial.’
      • ‘But I think this clearly qualifies as way, way out of bounds.’
      • ‘For him, all personal experience is grist to the writer's mill; nothing is taboo or out of bounds.’
      • ‘I didn't like it, but it wasn't completely out of bounds.’
      • ‘I am more comfortable about talking about what I think is definitely out of bounds than in coming up with a theory that would provide answers to all or maybe even most legal questions.’
      • ‘There's something fantastically liberating in the licence she gives you to laugh at subjects usually out of bounds.’


out of bounds

/ˌaʊt əv ˈbaʊndz/