Definition of breakout in US English:

breakout

noun

  • 1A forcible escape, especially from prison.

    ‘a prison breakout’
    • ‘Then I learn from the newspaper that because of a recent prison breakout, a state of emergency has been declared.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘As patriotic sansculottes were urged to join up, anxiety spread about a possible prison breakout in their absence.’
    • ‘Tensions have been simmering since the breakout in June, when inmates marched out of the compound into the local town to publicise their grievances.’
    • ‘In related news, check out this report on an animal rights zealot allegedly planning a jail breakout.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were breakouts from Sobibor and Treblika.’
    • ‘Some 38 prisoners escaped in a breakout that also resulted in the death of a prison officer and several others sustaining injuries.’
    • ‘The film is roughly based on the true story of a massive breakout from a German prison camp in Poland during World War II.’
    • ‘Around the country, prison breakouts were happening at all jails.’
    • ‘The camps are run by a private prison company and have seen several riots, mass breakouts and suicide attempts in recent months.’
    • ‘There had been nineteen more successful breakouts from prisons across the country.’
    • ‘There have been forced deportations, breakouts, riots and hunger strikes at the harshest ones.’
    • ‘In 1970 the FBI put her on their most wanted list, accusing her of supplying guns for a breakout from Soledad prison.’
    • ‘I do agree however, that security should be boosted in many prisons to reduce the likelihood of breakouts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Arrested for involvement in the murder, he was one of eight prisoners who made a spectacular breakout from prison in 1981, while on remand.’
    escape, break, bolt for freedom, running away, flight, bolting, absconding, decamping, fleeing, flit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1in singular (in soccer, hockey, and other sports) a sudden attack by a team that had been defending.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Petit is another that, even if we didn't see the degree of his breakout, we should have better recognized him before the season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was breakouts like this that prompted Carlson to say afterwards: ‘I never felt that we were ever going to win comfortably.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But today I'm going to go out on a limb, and predict the breakout of two more pitching prospects.’
      • ‘‘And I was him, and this would remain the sudden breakout which brought me stardom overnight,’ he said.’
      • ‘Wimbledon resisted Cobham's attacks until the game-winning breakout by Grafton.’
      • ‘One of Grindelton's breakouts, after 35 minutes, however, was to prove the game's talking point.’
      • ‘Now they were caught off guard by the sudden breakout of the defending forces.’
      • ‘What we saw at the start of the 2004 season was the potential for a breakout of young pitching dominance.’
      • ‘Are the defensemen pinching down along the boards to halt breakouts?’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘At best, he'll have a Pie-like breakout on the mound.’
      • ‘In a system that has seen quite a few breakouts this season, Hirsh might be the biggest surprise.’
      • ‘You could almost understand why there is hope for a real breakout.’
      • ‘And that leads us to the obvious questions: Which teams are poised for a breakout in 2002?’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2in singular An outbreak.

    ‘a breakout of hostilities’
    • ‘The biggest challenge before the district health authorities is to check the breakout of water-borne diseases during the monsoon.’
    • ‘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]?’
    • ‘During the epidemic breakout, he recalls, cases were reported from Andhra Pradesh too.’
    • ‘She realised months before the breakout of hostilities that her nursing skills would in all probability lead to her being sent to the Gulf.’
    • ‘There has been plenty of concern over the possible effects of the Foot and Mouth breakout on racing but hopefully the game will escape.’
    • ‘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.’
    outbreak, flare-up, upsurge, outburst, epidemic, sudden appearance, start, rash, wave, spate, flood, explosion, burst, blaze, flurry
    View synonyms
  • 3The deformation or splintering of wood, stone, or other material being drilled or planed.

    • ‘The best way to prevent breakout is to use a scrap wood plug on the inside of the tubing during drilling operations.’
    • ‘This assumption is validated by observations of borehole breakout, the formation of margin-parallel normal growth faults and structural analogue modelling.’
  • 4A categorized list.

    ‘an excellent breakout of websites by topic’
    • ‘It is time for the breakout of the ‘result fever’ epidemic, as the SSLC exam results will be announced on Thursday.’
    • ‘That improved breakout should give us a better feel for what in the trade data are parts and what is producer's durable equipment?’
    • ‘Table 1 provides summary information regarding the breakout of these categories.’
    • ‘Below is a Department-level breakout of the signers.’
    • ‘There is liberal use of line figures, tables, photos and illustrations of world-class swimmers, and breakouts where key concepts are summarized in bullet-point format.’
  • 5A sudden advance to a new level.

    ‘gold was overdue for a breakout’
    • ‘The irony of all this is that in every way but financial, the tech industry is poised for its next great breakout.’
    • ‘That was the first time since gold's famous 1980 breakout that such a parting of the ways was about to coincide with an ‘assigned domain’ switch.’
    • ‘Today, I'd consider buying once again, if and when this breakout proves itself.’

adjective

North American
informal
  • 1Suddenly and extremely popular or successful.

    ‘a breakout movie’
    • ‘The film actually made money, but it was not, as we'd say these days, a breakout success.’
    • ‘As for Berry, she won the award, looks amazing, and is obviously the breakout star of the night.’
    • ‘Jackie Clune is making a bolt for breakout popularity at last.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think she may be the breakout star of this thing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He always wanted to be the breakout star at all costs.’
    • ‘We're thrilled to be making a second series of this breakout show to be exclusively broadcast on FOX8.’
    • ‘I had been in the league a few years and had had some success - some big games - but 1989 was my breakout year.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, it deserves the same breakout success enjoyed last year by the similarly toned Saw.’
    • ‘I am hoping that Mission: Impossible II will be the breakout movie for Thandie Newton.’
    • ‘There were several breakout hits, films that commanded both critical kudos and broad audience appeal, assuring substantive box-office numbers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One inevitable response to breakout success is the charge that an artist is pandering to the masses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As for the breakout musicians, their brief moments of capital-raking before being consumed live on reality TV will hardly be worth the embarrassment.’
  • 2Denoting or relating to groups that break away from a conference or other larger gathering for discussion.

    ‘we divided into 15 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.’
    • ‘There were then breakout groups that were facilitated by building administrators.’
    • ‘In Summit I, four breakout groups identified the ‘components of the problem’.’
    • ‘Additional afternoon breakout sessions will address the correlation between camp and community and leadership.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It has two restaurants - one Chinese and one Western-style - and 740 square metres of meeting facilities, including a ballroom and five breakout rooms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This could be due to a lack of communication on how the breakout group was intended to be conducted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Box Clever Theatre Company presented a number of scenarios on street crime, which pupils then discussed in breakout groups.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the course, the students were divided into small groups to analyze and dissect clinical case studies during breakout group discussions.’
    • ‘In lectures and breakout groups, workshop participants examined the possibilities and pitfalls of finding a space to call home.’
    • ‘The students also practice analyzing case reports involving these drugs in the breakout groups.’
    • ‘We used breakout groups by grade level for student discipline issues, budgets, curriculum issues, and the use of technology to improve professional efficiency.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She delivers keynotes and breakout sessions for conferences and organizations across the United States, Canada and Europe.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All plenary and breakout group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed.’
    • ‘After the main presentations, an hour will be devoted to breakout sessions in which executive development hurdles and needs would be explored.’

Pronunciation

breakout

/ˈbrākˌout//ˈbreɪkˌaʊt/