Definition of out in English:



  • 1Moving or appearing to move away from a particular place, especially one that is enclosed or hidden.

    ‘he walked out into the street’
    ‘watch the stars come out’
    • ‘Three hundred feet below, a red inflatable boat chugged out from the beach towards a strong swimmer.’
    • ‘Then, without a word, he stormed out of the room, slamming the door shut as he went.’
    • ‘When we left our building and headed out into Times Square, it felt like stepping straight into a scene of a film.’
    • ‘He did not know how the accused gained entry into the house and immediately ordered him out.’
    • ‘Just one in six women and one in five men now think the woman should stay at home while the man goes out to work.’
    • ‘The rain had let up and the sun was beginning to peek out from behind the leaden clouds.’
    • ‘We were burgled at a previous house when we popped out for twenty minutes to the grocery store.’
    • ‘When the lifeboat reached it, the RNLI crew pumped out the water and restarted the engine.’
    • ‘He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to relax.’
    • ‘The castle is built on a headland that protrudes out from the coast, and is almost an island.’
    • ‘Fortunately I was able to move the car out, enabling me to get mother and her wheelchair into the car.’
    • ‘I stand up, a little bit more carefully than usual, and walk extra-steadily out to the car.’
    • ‘She slowly took that key out from under her dress and placed it on the ground.’
    • ‘I grabbed a piece of toast and let myself out of the house.’
    • ‘In the night the wind freshened and at about two we had to crawl out from beneath billows of collapsed canvas.’
    • ‘They led their horses on foot along the single narrow road that led out of the forest.’
    • ‘I often go out for a walk and sometimes I walk home from college, which is quite a long way.’
    • ‘We walked right out again and thought back to our nice big, nice empty inn beside the field of the two nights before.’
    • ‘Then at midnight people just appeared out on the street with bubbly, singing Auld Lang Syne.’
    • ‘The crew also gets called out to any incident involving a person reported to be in a river or a canal.’
    1. 1.1 Situated or operating in the open air, not in buildings.
      ‘the search-and-rescue team have been out looking for you’
      • ‘I can tell when people are smoking nearby and I'm out in the open air and it just puts my back up.’
      • ‘Drugs teams were also out in force, warrants were executed and arrests were made for a variety of crimes.’
      • ‘People argue it is a community thing, good exercise for the horses and a good weekend activity out in the fresh air.’
      • ‘Three of the planes took part in a flying display out in the warm spring sunshine.’
      • ‘Despite her exhaustion, she quickened her pace, eager to be out in the open air.’
      • ‘If you're out on the streets walking with other people who share your outrage it helps give you heart.’
      • ‘They fear a future incident could spark a situation where the force's armed response team is called out.’
      • ‘I was also afraid that my parents had already found out that I had left and were out looking for me.’
      • ‘In a canoe and out in the open air there is plenty of fun to be had shooting the weirs and riding the waves.’
      • ‘She's out in the open air whooping and calling across the fields in a frenzy of vocal exploration!’
      • ‘City of York Council said that its gritters were out treating the city's roads as snow started to fall.’
    2. 1.2 No longer detained in custody or in jail.
      ‘they would be out on bail in no time’
      • ‘The judge imposed 12-month sentences for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, and said Hunter could be out in six months.’
      • ‘By the time he gets out in eight years, he'll be … what? Thirty-three?’
      • ‘The 24 year-old is out on bail pending a court appearance on Monday.’
      • ‘And it's unfortunate that the judge has let him out on bail.’
  • 2Situated far or at a particular distance from somewhere.

    ‘an old farmhouse right out in the middle of nowhere’
    ‘they lived eight miles out of town’
    ‘the team had put on a marvelous display out in Georgia’
    • ‘Thirty yards out from the town goal on the grass embankment was where our group could be found.’
    • ‘Thankfully such days are rare, and today, out in the Selkirk Range, it isn't one of them.’
    • ‘Their old house was out in the middle of nowhere - there was no one around for miles.’
    • ‘I can get Sky Sports out here and watch three Premiership games every Saturday.’
    • ‘We picked up a hitchhiker about ten miles out of town.’
    • ‘Half a mile out from the bay we cut the engine and raised the two sails.’
    • ‘A post-mortem is due to be carried out today by a senior civilian pathologist who will fly out from Britain.’
    • ‘Well, I loved it out in New Zealand.’
    • ‘About two miles out from the pub, I developed another slow puncture in my rear tyre.’
    • ‘The plane was about five miles out from the airport.’
    • ‘On the water ducks and coots patrolled the margins and further out was a dinghy.’
    • ‘New Zealand had a small dependent island hundreds of miles out in the South Pacific called Niue.’
    1. 2.1 To sea, away from the land.
      ‘the fleet put out from Cyprus’
      • ‘Still, better to be safe and on dry land than to be out at sea in the middle of all that chaos.’
      • ‘Notice that we are discounting the possibility of heading out to sea to avoid the storm.’
      • ‘A pair of longtail water taxis ferry divers, kit and the last of the supplies out to the mooring.’
      • ‘The ship put out from Sheerness on December 7, 1872.’
      • ‘Captain Lowe immediately put his ship about, felt her come free and then headed out to sea.’
      • ‘The Pacific Squadron was maintained with ships sent out on rotation from the Baltic.’
      • ‘Families were split up, put on to different boats and shoved out into the Atlantic.’
      • ‘To obtain a complete overview of the ship, we swim along the main mast out to the open water.’
      • ‘Rather than swimming from the beach to a dive site at the point of the cove, divers were paddling kayaks out.’
      • ‘But once the fleet put out to sea, communication vanished.’
    2. 2.2 (of the tide) falling or at its lowest level.
      ‘the tide was going out’
      • ‘When the tide is out, the sands stretch offshore almost as far as the eye can see.’
      • ‘The tide was still out when we got back to shore, so we could not moor close to the jetty.’
      • ‘The old woman kept her word, and so it is that the tide rushes in and out again twice each day.’
      • ‘If the tide is out, there are usually half a dozen seals sleeping on the rocks, and we just sit there and watch.’
      • ‘When the tide is out and the sand is hard I ride my bike from sea wall to breaking waves.’
      • ‘The tide was out and to my dismay I found the beach a disgrace and an indictment on our society.’
      • ‘We often think of tides flowing in and out, but this is the effect of the water levels changing.’
      • ‘The beach is enormous and there are plenty of caves to explore when the tide's out.’
      • ‘He and his son had plunged from the bridge when the tide was out and fallen on to mud.’
      • ‘When the tide is out the sand flats are busy with a variety of wading birds.’
      • ‘Always keep in mind the tide will continue to run after the listed high tide and out after the low tide.’
      • ‘Outside was not a lot better, as the tide was out and I was looking into the sun.’
      • ‘When the tide is fully out the owner of the weir simply walks down the foreshore and takes the catch from the traps.’
  • 3Away from home.

    ‘he's gone out’
    1. 3.1 In a public place for purposes of pleasure or entertainment.
      ‘an evening out at a restaurant’
      • ‘We hang out and chat a lot, visit each other's homes or go out to eat after the show.’
      • ‘It is not so much the fact that we have to pay an extra £6 to enjoy an evening out, it is the principle.’
      • ‘He said he had been out for a meal and had some wine the night before and did not think he was over the limit the next morning.’
      • ‘Continental drinkers tend to drink to enhance their meal, or their evening out.’
      • ‘The youth had been out for the evening with friends and had taken the N285 night bus home.’
      • ‘Last night Ian and I went down to Farnham to take her and Dad out for a Chinese meal.’
      • ‘He lived at the bungalow with his mother and had been out for the evening.’
      • ‘The old days of going out for a couple of drinks in your local seems to be a thing of the past.’
      • ‘While most of us are out partying, the family will be trying to come to terms with their terrible loss.’
      • ‘Young Continentals see drinking as an accessory to an evening out, not its main purpose.’
      • ‘Mr Doyle went home, but his wife had gone out for the evening, so he went to a telephone box and called an ambulance.’
      • ‘Sponsored by the Evening Press, this promises to be a great day out for all the family.’
      • ‘I was appalled to discover that my evening out was going to double in price.’
      • ‘We want to make sure that people out for an enjoyable night don't have it spoiled by others.’
      • ‘It may be that some members want to organise trips out or other activities.’
      • ‘We went out for a drink afterwards with the group and Charlie, our Musical Director.’
      • ‘Last week he took me out for a drink at the pub, and then we went to the cinema.’
      • ‘If any of us was out for the evening, he would wait by the front door until we came home.’
      • ‘One night we went out for a few drinks and then came back home and sat in my room.’
      • ‘He informed the crews that he had been out for the evening and had decided to cook some food.’
      • ‘For the first time in ages, everyone in the office went out for a drink together.’
  • 4Indicating a specified distance away from the goal line or finishing line.

    ‘he scored from 70 meters out’
    • ‘Van Straaten converted again but then added a phenomenal penalty from 60 metres out.’
    • ‘They were awarded a penalty for offside 10 yards out and Horne scored his fourth try.’
    • ‘Malton should have taken the lead when they were awarded a penalty ten metres out in front of the posts.’
    • ‘Five minutes later, York were awarded a penalty 25 metres out in front of the posts.’
    • ‘The race was marred by the fall of Ginger Jack two and a half furlongs out.’
  • 5So as to be revealed or known.

    ‘find out what you can’
    • ‘Upon returning home I found out that snowball fights can be pretty tiring.’
    • ‘He has played a key role in growing the business by looking out for opportunities.’
    • ‘It would be great if you could help us get the word out about this matter.’
    • ‘I went back to Barnsley to find out the situation there and then went straight down to Bradford.’
    • ‘We felt it was in the public interest to find out, and got on the phone to their press office.’
    • ‘If my team-mates or the media had found out, my career would have been finished.’
    • ‘When word got out that me and mom were moving to California, everyone in the church was sad.’
    • ‘So now they will have read this and found out that I was pretending to ignore them.’
    • ‘So you can imagine my pleasure of finding out about this particular story.’
    • ‘Everyone entering the competition will find out about local services to help them stop smoking.’
    • ‘We are asking parents to watch out for these toys and shopkeepers to take them off sale.’
    • ‘As a result, Sussex Police last night launched a murder inquiry in an effort to find out how the fire began.’
    • ‘As always, the deaths will make the headlines, yet the public will never find out why.’
    • ‘Wiltshire County Council is running a summer poetry competition to seek out the best local talent.’
    • ‘However, much hinges on what figures on lending activity due out this Thursday will show.’
    • ‘The exhibition is part of a glassmaking degree and Mr Devereux should find out his final mark in the next two weeks.’
    • ‘He only found out about the romance a few days before the alleged murder on July 24 this year.’
    • ‘They had told them to read the Evening Press to find out what was happening.’
    • ‘He risked his life to get the word out about the atrocities that were taking place.’
    • ‘She telephoned from the family's new home in Devon at the end of the evening to find out how it was going.’
    1. 5.1 Aloud; so as to be heard.
      ‘Miss Beard cried out in horror’
      • ‘The school read their report out, and the Board asked a few questions and had their say.’
      • ‘He later told his older sister that he heard his friend cry out after the explosion.’
      • ‘He actually typed it out and kept it with him though when he read it out he didn't use the Welsh accent which it demands.’
      • ‘Over by one of the many computers in the office a man shouted out in excitement.’
      • ‘She shouted out a warning, but she was too late.’
      • ‘She told how she heard her daughter cry out as she was attacked and robbed of her mobile phone.’
      • ‘He shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.’
      • ‘The victim cried out as he fell which alerted other crewmen but they were unable to rescue him.’
      • ‘I heard him cry out in anger and pain as he released me and moved his hands up to his face.’
      • ‘He could hear voices from the kitchen and his name being shouted out and then he heard a loud banging on the toilet door.’
      • ‘It is not surprising the townsfolk cry out; the wonder rather is that they do nothing else.’
      • ‘The owner cried out in horror from her bathroom window and the group of men walked off.’
      • ‘Nobody in the group heard her cry out and they were not aware she had fallen until they reached a gate and looked back.’
      • ‘His body was covered in horrific bedsores that caused him to cry out in pain whenever they were touched.’
      • ‘She never spoke out in classes unless she had to.’
      • ‘There weren't many people there, but I've not read stuff out to folk for ages, so that was ok.’
      • ‘He then proceeded to explain the first quarter of the book, reading bits out.’
      • ‘The schoolgirl said she had been scared and had wanted to cry out but she couldn't seem to find her voice.’
      • ‘In response, he cries out for her not to leave him, desperation depicted on his face.’
      • ‘Triona, who wrote the letter on behalf of everyone, read it out to Mary in the ward.’
      • ‘When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.’
  • 6At or to an end.

    ‘the romance fizzled out’
    1. 6.1 So as to be finished or complete.
      ‘I'll leave them to fight it out’
      ‘I typed out the poem’
      • ‘Eleven candidates have been fighting it out, but this morning it remained unclear who had won.’
      • ‘The pair are fighting it out as travellers weigh up the best method of getting to the capital.’
      • ‘It then becomes the battle of the sexes as the two fight it out for the coveted Christmas number one spot.’
      • ‘If anyone can provide me with a good argument for this I would be glad to hear you out.’
      • ‘Now in its third year, the event saw 19 rowing teams battling it out on the Swindon lake.’
      • ‘Who'd have had them two down to be battling it out for the man-of-the-match award?’
      • ‘The bands were chosen by the public to battle it out for a Christmas number one.’
      • ‘Please hear him out before making a judgement.’
      • ‘In turn, the bigger clubs will fight it out for places in the premium-level Champions league.’
      • ‘Anyone who considers poverty to be Scotland's most urgent problem should hear Murray out.’
      • ‘He believes the war that now has to be waged will be long, dirty and mostly fought out behind the scenes.’
      • ‘The horse dropped back after the second last, leaving the other two to fight out a memorable finish.’
      • ‘Ilkley played out the remainder of the game without giving anything away to encourage the home team.’
      • ‘But deep into overtime both quarterbacks are on the bench while the two teams wrestle it out.’
      • ‘Bowling took full advantage and played out the final minutes in relative comfort.’
      • ‘I'm just interested in my school work from now on and they can fight it out among themselves.’
      • ‘He did not want to play out any long rallies and went for winners right from the start - a ploy that didn't work.’
      • ‘They should have chucked him out last weekend, and let the final four fight it out.’
      • ‘The division shows two good teams battling it out for a chance to play in the country's top division.’
      • ‘Today, the winners of the different categories will also fight it out for the honour of being Best in Show.’
    2. 6.2 (in various other completive uses)
      ‘the crowd had thinned out’
      ‘he crossed out a word’
      • ‘You write the whole thing out word for word, check the spelling, check the grammar.’
      • ‘Maggie is quite horrifyingly selfish and happy to sponge off Ella while she susses out the situation.’
      • ‘Evergreen plants have been used for centuries to mark out the lines of a garden.’
      • ‘Head the list with a few easy jobs and cross them out as they are accomplished.’
      • ‘The last words were crossed out and new wording was substituted in manuscript.’
      • ‘The weather is still glorious, the crowds have thinned out and prices have tumbled.’
      • ‘It is worth reading - perhaps print it out and read it on your next visit to a beach.’
      • ‘Mrs Schofield helped out with group activities and acted as escort on day trips.’
      • ‘After all the mix-ups, the disasters were averted and the romances were all sorted out.’
      • ‘Some of the time the crowd drown him out completely, and he stalks the stage revelling in the adulation.’
      • ‘Our assistant director typed out every word spoken in the book in correct order as a reference document.’
      • ‘The men marched off with the band playing loudly to drown out the cries of the women.’
      • ‘Out in the ruined west of the city, where most of the film was shot, the traffic jams that clog the centre thin out.’
      • ‘He would now begin to join in family activities, help out with tasks in the garden.’
      • ‘The path thinned out now as it wound past the private beach of a local five star hotel.’
      • ‘A common forestry practice is to thin out Cypress Pine to get them to grow big and tall.’
      • ‘However, you may have noticed that I've blanked out two words in the above extract.’
      • ‘They will be sent out to businesses and public buildings such as libraries and council buildings.’
      • ‘Plans are being made to improve the situation by developing a section of land and leasing it out to a community group.’
      • ‘Print it out and read it on the bus if you don't have time to read all of it right now.’
  • 7(of a light or fire) so as to be extinguished or no longer burning.

    ‘at ten o'clock the lights went out’
    • ‘His eyes bulged and he sat there, as though all the lights had gone out in his head.’
    • ‘We found rare hours of quiet in the woods or at night after the bars and discos had closed and most of the lights had gone out.’
    • ‘Scotland will have its mature debate one day, but not until the last light has gone out.’
    • ‘Not much help when offices are shut over Christmas and your lights have just gone out.’
    • ‘Within thirty seconds, footsteps could be heard coming down the path, so the fire was stamped out.’
    • ‘If you do have a chimney, he says, just remember to put the fire out before you go to bed.’
    • ‘Fortunately he was able to dash to his kitchen and return with a pan of water to put the fire out.’
    • ‘The gas supply was turned off while they traced the leak to a pilot light that had gone out on a heater in one of the classrooms.’
    • ‘The plumber, who has not been named, tried to put the fire out with water but it spread into the roof space.’
    • ‘I ushered the man out but the woman followed me back into the kitchen and said not to put the fire out with water.’
    • ‘He climbed in, passed the baby girl out to neighbours and then put the small fire out himself.’
    • ‘By the time we had gotten to the room, the lights had already gone out twice and the floor seemed to be at an angle.’
    • ‘I was trying to put the fire out and I just couldn't do it, and then all the smoke started coming up the stairs.’
    • ‘In a synchronous move, the light has gone out on the top of the Dublin Spike.’
    • ‘My candle fell to the floor; the light snuffed out in an instant and the figure fell with it.’
    • ‘They jumped out, took off their jerseys and proceeded to beat the fire out with them.’
    • ‘One of the bartenders grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out and the fire alarm just went crazy.’
    • ‘Dartford fireman Rob Chilmaid says it took around three hours to put the fire out.’
    1. 7.1 (of a stain or mark) no longer visible; removed.
      ‘try to get the stain out’
      • ‘I managed to get the stain out with some hydrogen peroxide and a little scrubbing.’
      • ‘My dress is ruined and I'll never get this stain out.’
  • 8(of a party, politician, etc.) not in office.

    • ‘It is time that these politicians were voted out and replaced by those accountable to the people.’
    • ‘He must stay in office until his party throws him out or the electorate throws out his party.’
    • ‘I sincerely hope that at the next election you and your party will be out, and all the place seekers with you.’
  • 9(of a jury) considering its verdict in secrecy.

    • ‘The jury were out the whole of the first day and sent a message that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.’
    • ‘The trial took seven working days and the jury were out for approximately seven hours before they convicted on Count 1 and went on to consider Counts 2 and 3.’


  • Through to the outside.

    ‘he ran out the door’
    • ‘He spent his lunch hours staring out the window, wishing he could be working outside on the farm.’
    • ‘Just before I could walk out the door he caught me by the arm.’
    • ‘Then she sat back in her leather office chair and gazed out her corner office window.’
    • ‘He grabbed his keys and ran out the door.’
    • ‘She was the one who pushed everyone out the door for activities.’


  • 1Not at home or at one's place of work.

    ‘if he called, she'd pretend to be out’
    • ‘A few weeks later, a parcel arrived while I was out.’
    • ‘Sorry, but if you're looking for my sister, she's out.’
    • ‘I phoned Hari but he was out, so I left a message with his concierge.’
    not here, not at home, not in, gone away, away, elsewhere, absent, away from one's desk
    not here, not at home, not in, gone away, away, elsewhere, absent, away from one's desk
    View synonyms
  • 2Revealed or made public.

    ‘the secret was soon out’
    • ‘The word inside the agency is that Leavitt is apparently furious that this news is out.’
    • ‘Look honey, your secret's out and there's nothing you can do about it.’
    revealed, in the open, out in the open, common knowledge, public knowledge, known, disclosed, divulged, exposed
    revealed, in the open, out in the open, common knowledge, public knowledge, known, disclosed, divulged, exposed
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a flower) in bloom; open.
      • ‘June, when the poppies are out, is one of the best times to visit Umbria.’
      • ‘The roses are out in our walled garden, and the sweet peas, and the apricot trees have finally got some very nice-looking fruit on them.’
      in flower, flowering, in bloom, in full bloom, blooming, in blossom, blossoming, open
      in flower, flowering, in bloom, in full bloom, blooming, in blossom, blossoming, open
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Published.
      ‘the book should be out before the end of the month’
      • ‘My new book is out in eight weeks.’
      • ‘According to the band, they are going to New York to record and the album should be out before the end of the year.’
      • ‘The new album is out next month and marks a return to U2's rock and roll roots.’
      available, obtainable, in the shops, published, in print, issued
      available, obtainable, in the shops, published, in print, issued
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    3. 2.3informal In existence or in use.
      ‘it works as well as any system that's out’
      • ‘To me he's the best underground producer out.’
      • ‘Technology is still working on improving our tan and there is a new system out called Airbrush Tanning.’
      • ‘Runaway is the best adventure game out right now.’
      • ‘The systems aren't even out yet, neither are the full specifications.’
    4. 2.4 Not concealing one's homosexuality.
      ‘I had been out since I was seventeen’
      • ‘I'm not out to my family, I don't want to lose any ties.’
      • ‘Adam is out at work, and his colleagues know his boyfriend.’
      • ‘I've been out since I was 15.’
  • 3No longer alight; extinguished.

    ‘the fire was nearly out’
    • ‘The fire's out, but it's still smouldering.’
    • ‘The lights were out, and the light of the stars and the moon was barely enough for her to see.’
    • ‘All the lights were out and he couldn't see any movement in the conservatory.’
    • ‘A car drove by while he and his partner were on the night shift, and the back left tail light was out.’
    • ‘The fire was nearly out when we arrived.’
    • ‘We had gone out for a couple of hours and when we returned the fire was almost out.’
    • ‘Wilson returned to the store after dark and was concerned to find all the lights were out.’
    • ‘Firefighters managed to control the blaze before it spread and last night said the fire was out.’
    • ‘He said both police and council workers had been to see him, but said he knew there was little they could do as long as his fire was out.’
    • ‘When I arrived at the dorm all the lights were out.’
    • ‘They should make fridges with little windows in them so you can be sure the light is out.’
    • ‘The night is clear after the cloudy day and the stars are bright now that the hotel's lights are out.’
    • ‘Firefighters alerted police and the fire was out before detectives arrived.’
    not burning, extinguished, no longer alight, quenched, doused, dead, defunct
    not burning, extinguished, no longer alight, quenched, doused, dead, defunct
    View synonyms
  • 4At an end.

    ‘school was out for the summer’
    • ‘He lists his achievements with the self-assurance of a man who will probably be a millionaire before the year's out.’
    • ‘The temperature's going to drop another ten degrees before the week's out.’
    • ‘As soon as school was out, the boys and I took off.’
    1. 4.1informal No longer in fashion.
      ‘life in the fast lane is out’
      • ‘Celebrity stylist Luke O'Connor proclaimed ‘big hair and extensions are out’.’
      • ‘Yes it's true, straight hair is out and curls are in.’
      • ‘When I released those albums punk was in and romance was out.’
      • ‘Personally, I'm glad cowboy boots are out.’
      no longer in fashion, out of fashion, unfashionable, out of style, dated, out of date, outdated, not in, behind the times
      no longer in fashion, out of fashion, unfashionable, out of style, dated, out of date, outdated, not in, behind the times
      View synonyms
  • 5Not possible or worth considering.

    ‘a trip to the seaside is out’
    • ‘We've already done a movie, so that's out.’
    • ‘The pool registers a seriously chilly 38 degrees, so swimming is out.’
  • 6In a state of unconsciousness.

    • ‘He's been out since I settled him on the couch. He'll be unconscious for a while yet.’
    • ‘You were out cold for five minutes.’
    • ‘He said he was knocked unconscious and thought he had been out for about two hours.’
    unconscious, insensate, senseless, insentient, comatose, knocked out, passed out, blacked out, inert, stupefied, stunned
    View synonyms
    1. 6.1Boxing Unable to rise before the count of ten.
  • 7Mistaken; in error.

    ‘he was slightly out in his calculations’
    • ‘Maureen could be relied on to get the scores totted up in double quick time and was never out in her calculations.’
    • ‘How could an organisation with a previously excellent record of financial management be shown to be so far out in its calculations?’
    • ‘The NRA's preliminary cost for the project was out by 46 percent.’
    mistaken, inaccurate, incorrect, wide of the mark, wrong, in error, off
    mistaken, inaccurate, incorrect, wide of the mark, wrong, in error, off
    View synonyms
  • 8(of the ball in tennis and similar games) outside the designated playing area.

    • ‘Clijsters refused to comment when asked whether Henin-Hardenne might have influenced the umpire by indicating that the ball was out.’
  • 9Baseball Cricket
    No longer batting or on base, having had one's turn ended by the team in the field.

    ‘the Yankees are out in the ninth’
    ‘Johnson was out at second’
    • ‘Leiter was out at first, but Ordonez advanced to second while Jay Payton scored.’
    • ‘Chris Taylor was out for a duck in the second over.’
    • ‘Gloucestershire were all out for 347 in their first innings.’


  • 1informal A way of escaping from a problem or dilemma.

    ‘he was desperately looking for an out’
    • ‘These factors would give him many outs for not building a missile defense system.’
    • ‘He was becoming sloppy and careless - I think he was looking for an out.’
    • ‘Evans is reportedly looking for an out after spending £8m on the team.’
  • 2Baseball
    An act of putting a player out.

    • ‘The next night, he made two outs in one inning, although he went 2-for - 4 with a home run in the game.’
    • ‘In three at-bats he hit into two double plays and one triple play to account for seven outs.’
    • ‘Simply put, the pitcher who can give up the least percentage of flyball outs is best on track for good overall numbers.’
    • ‘The biggest difference between them is in the number of outs that these two players have generated over the course of their careers.’
    • ‘Well, if you strike out a bunch of guys and get the vast majority of the remaining outs via groundballs, you're not likely to allow too many home runs.’
  • 3the outsThe political party or politicians not in office.

    • ‘This division between ins and outs had prompted a painful argument over the need to establish a forum for ministers from the ins, without causing a dangerous rupture from the outs.’
    • ‘The early Australian Labor Party, highly critical of the game of ins and outs in colonial politics, wanted the people to rule more directly.’
    • ‘Convinced that nothing would come of the political game of ins and outs, he turned away from parliament and the political parties in his search for sources of renewal.’


  • 1[no object] Come or go out; emerge.

    ‘the truth will out’
    • ‘The truth may cause me to lose my mates but the truth will out and soon.’
    • ‘And when the truth outs after you have tried assiduously to conceal it, the effect is very bad on credibility and so on.’
  • 2informal [with object] Reveal the homosexuality of (a prominent person)

    • ‘I don't think there is any good argument for outing a closeted politician who supports gay rights.’
    • ‘The time after you are outed to someone and before they get used to the idea is a very sensitive period and during that period often a fatal pattern can be developed in which no one really knows what is ‘okay’ to talk about.’
    • ‘The man who famously outed Peter Mandelson on Newsnight to a mouth-dropping response from Jeremy Paxman is remarkably candid about his own adventures in the gay underworld where, as an MP, he was a disaster waiting to happen.’
    • ‘I also fervently hope we get to a point where outing someone as gay won't mean anything at all because the public will have grown up and realized that it doesn't matter at all.’
    • ‘The participant was a lesbian stepmom who said, ‘My son outed me to his preschool.’’
    • ‘I also seldom agree with outing someone for the good of the whole community.’
    • ‘When she is outed by a tabloid, she finds that although the impact on her career is predictably negative, her friends react in unexpected ways, finally giving her the courage to chart a new course for her life.’
    • ‘He took a lot of criticism for outing her, but she was in the process of coming out anyway, so I don't know if that was so bad.’
    • ‘But, you know, if you went around outing people, I think you would suffer.’
    • ‘None of this would have happened if Trinity hadn't violated my privacy rights by outing me to my parents without my consent.’
    • ‘As we eventually learn, Marty could have been a contender too were it not for the fact that he was outed as gay in his youth, sending him scurrying into the closet.’
    • ‘A friend of mine's dad found some letters that we'd been writing and took them to my parents, and that outed me.’
    • ‘This must have struck a chord with you, given that you were outed by a tabloid.’
    • ‘You write in your book that you came out in The Washington Post because you feared being outed in the gay press.’
    • ‘It was Hodgkin, famously, who outed Bruce Chatwin in an interview with biographer Nicholas Shakespeare.’
    • ‘She had real regrets, I think, that she outed herself and outed other people - whom she made very unhappy.’
    expose, unmask, uncover
    View synonyms


The use of out as a preposition (rather than the standard prepositional phrase out of), as in he threw it out the window, is common in informal contexts, and is standard in American, Australian, and New Zealand English. Traditionalists do not accept it as part of standard British English, however


  • on the outs

    • In disagreement or dispute.

      ‘on the outs with established political trends’
      • ‘The person doesn't want to be there, is on the outs with the department and probably wasn't much of a teacher to begin with - that's how they got in trouble.’
      • ‘We're kind of on the outs right now.’
      • ‘Aunt Celia has kicked me out again, for being ‘rebellious’ and I've been at outs with my uncle for the last 5 years or so.’
      • ‘But now it's foreclosure time: The show is on the outs with me.’
      • ‘Luckily, he is on the outs with his girlfriend, and teenagers love to frequent the beach near his rented cabana.’
      • ‘Your two best friends Amanda and Ashley are on the outs because Amanda has been spilling Ashley's secrets.’
      • ‘Honey, just because we're on the outs, there's no need to bring the child into it.’
      • ‘This doesn't mean the two are on the outs, however; close friends say he's never invited girls over to meet the family on the traditional holiday.’
      • ‘Both were examples of buyers who bit off more than they could chew and were on the outs after less than 2 years with their combined companies.’
      • ‘But she was on the outs with the whole lot, really.’
      conflicting, in conflict, contrasting, incompatible, irreconcilable, antithetical, contradictory, clashing, contrary, different, differing, divergent, dissimilar, disagreeing, in disagreement, at odds, at cross purposes, at loggerheads, opposed, opposing, opposite, in opposition, poles apart, polar, at outs
      View synonyms
  • out and about

    • (of a person, especially after inactivity) engaging in normal activity.

      • ‘This weekend is turning out to be full, but I guess it's better to be out and about in this kind of weather.’
      • ‘Maria is currently a bit under the weather and all her friends and family hope to see her out and about again real soon.’
      • ‘We hope they have a lovely time, and the community are looking forward to seeing them all out and about.’
      • ‘I am always out and about, always doing something, but what I do is nothing.’
      • ‘It was a beautiful day to be out and about in Southern California and I had a great time.’
      • ‘Her family wish her a speedy recovery to full health and her friends hope to see her out and about again really soon.’
      • ‘All your neighbours are delighted to see you home again and look forward to seeing you out and about soon.’
      • ‘Again, this was all due to my illness and generally not getting out and about.’
      • ‘Many of the activities for the next seven days focus on getting out and about in the Ilkley area.’
      • ‘Today is this guy's birthday, so if you see him out and about, buy him a drink or a cupcake.’
  • out for

    • Intent on having.

      ‘he was out for a good time’
      • ‘The club was packed with high-spirited young holidaymakers out for a good time.’
      • ‘It finally dawned on me that she was just out for what she could get.’
      • ‘He insisted he was not out for revenge.’
  • out of

    • 1Indicating the source or derivation of something; from.

      ‘a bench fashioned out of a fallen tree trunk’
      ‘you should not expect too much out of life’
      • ‘If that alone was the only benefit they got out of the lesson, then you would say it was very worthwhile.’
      • ‘It's just a way of making lots and lots of money out of the tax payer.’
      • ‘Fashioned out of rich black walnut, the chair is as much art as it is furniture.’
      • ‘Pensioners like us have paid into the NHS all our lives and we should not have to pay for treatment out of our savings.’
      • ‘Confidence enables you to win, and by winning you get enjoyment out of the game.’
      • ‘The furniture in the room was made out of a gorgeous dark mahogany wood.’
      • ‘I got a great thrill out of getting horses to enjoy their racing and getting them to try their best.’
      • ‘Attempts were made to set fire to another bench created out of recycled plastic and part of this has melted.’
      • ‘I get a lot of enjoyment out of working with these kids.’
      • ‘I want everyone in the side to get real enjoyment out of playing one-day cricket for England.’
      1. 1.1Having (the thing mentioned) as a motivation.
        ‘she did it out of spite’
        • ‘After her arrest, she told French police she had acted out of concern for her son.’
        • ‘If someone tells her she's rubbish at something, she'll do it again out of spite.’
        • ‘The demons would circle around my head and this would mean I would say many things out of anger and spite.’
        • ‘Young guys tend get dogs not out of any love of animals but because it seems like it's the cool thing to do.’
        • ‘William believed that human beings usually acted out of self-interest.’
        • ‘Acting out of an exaggerated concern for risk tends to create real problems for society.’
        • ‘Police have said he acted out of spite after he applied to join the fire brigade but was turned down.’
        • ‘If you have skimmed milk they'll push the bottle over just out of spite.’
        • ‘Does it mean acting out of fear and resentment rather than intelligence and restraint?’
        • ‘He said he was motivated to find his son's attackers not out of revenge but to get justice for Daniel.’
      2. 1.2Indicating the dam of a pedigree animal, especially a horse.
        • ‘Red Rum was out of a lunatic mare, and trained from the back of a car showroom in Southport.’
        • ‘He's out of a Hanoverian mare from California named Over Ice. I’
        • ‘The Kentucky-bred filly is out of the Green Dancer mare Whisper Who Dares.’
    • 2From among (a number)

      ‘nine times out of ten’
      • ‘If you do the best you can, you will find, nine times out of ten, that you have done as well as or better than anyone else.’
      • ‘Nine out of ten of us say we are working too hard to spend enough time with the kids.’
      • ‘Nine out of ten people are there to study and prepare for the upcoming school or job exam or test.’
      • ‘To pass the examinations a score of 6 out of ten had to be achieved.’
      • ‘On a day when the fixture list was badly hit by the weather, only nine matches were played out of 19 scheduled.’
      • ‘In a survey of users, more than nine out of ten said they would be back.’
      • ‘Two out of ten respondents said they had been a victim of crime during the preceding twelve months.’
      • ‘Nine times out of ten this is a big mistake.’
      • ‘The inspectors also found dust on bed frames, bed lamps and bed curtain rails in seven out of ten wards at the hospital.’
      • ‘Favourite Blue Dakota held off a strong challenge from Mystical Land to make it four wins out of four.’
    • 3Not having (a particular thing)

      ‘they had run out of cash’
      • ‘If the culprit is depleted uranium they are probably out of luck because any clean up would take a very long time and cost a lot of money.’
      • ‘Customers who don't want what lots of people want are, of course, out of luck.’
      • ‘Lee needed some cash so he walked to the bank machine and it was out of cash.’
      • ‘As for me, even if any of these few libraries were near enough for me to visit, I'd be out of luck.’
      • ‘By October I'll be out of cash and in need of a job.’
      • ‘It would appear that we're out of gas.’
      • ‘If you plan to take the kids skiing during February half-term, you may be out of luck.’
      • ‘My guess is that it was never released over here, so I may be out of luck.’
      • ‘She opened the refrigerator to find that they were out of milk.’
      • ‘Unless you are willing to study as much as the nerds, you are out of luck my friend.’
  • out of it

    • 1informal Not included; rejected.

      ‘I hate feeling out of it’
      • ‘I'm not from a theatrical background… I didn't have any confidence and I felt out of it.’
      • ‘When they talked about things at school, I felt so out of it. I really missed being like them!’
    • 2informal Unaware of what is happening as a result of being uninformed.

      • ‘I am always being accused of being out of it, so it's reassuring to know that ignorance is a two-way street.’
      1. 2.1Unable to think or react properly as a result of being drowsy.
        • ‘She would be awake, yet confused and out of it, not completely there.’
        • ‘Listen, if you're a bit out of it and you want a lift, watch this movie!’
        • ‘I was too out of it to sit up or hold the baby, so the nurse brought her over to me before they took us to our room and I kissed her goodnight.’
        • ‘Let's get the excuses in early: I think I got too much sun on Sunday and I'm running a bit hot and cold and feel a little out of it.’
        • ‘She had been sniffling a lot on Friday and was really a bit out of it on Monday.’
        • ‘He has been pretty out of it since arriving home.’
        • ‘And he looked rather distraught, somewhat out of it, and not at his best for sure.’
        • ‘I'm writing this the day after the party, and I feel a bit out of it.’
        • ‘As regular readers know, I was in the hospital for two months over the winter and pretty much out of it until May.’
        • ‘But as I was on stage looking at the people beside me, it really looked like these fellow students were completely out of it!’
        confused, muddled, addled, bewildered, disoriented, disorientated, all at sea, mixed up, fazed, perplexed, stunned, dazed, dizzy, stupefied, groggy, foggy, fuzzy, fuddled, benumbed, numbed, numb, vague
        View synonyms
  • out to

    • Keenly striving to.

      ‘they were out to impress’
      • ‘Six months ago I would have thought that cute little thing was a killer and out to get me.’
      • ‘So, do you ever have days when you find the inanimate objects in your house are out to get you?’
      • ‘We need people who are fair and not just out to look after their personal interests.’
      • ‘Most clubbers are out to have a good time and head for home at the end of the night.’
      • ‘He always sounds as if he's out to impress people.’
  • out with

    • An exhortation to expel or dismiss (an unwanted person or thing)

      • ‘Out with Howard, in with Boris!’
      • ‘Out with the old, and in with the new.’
  • out with it

    • Say what you are thinking.

      • ‘Come on, love, don't be shy, out with it, out with it!’
      • ‘He rightly assumed that there was no need to fill Sara in on their conversation so far, so he just came out with it.’
      • ‘‘Well, out with it,’ I waved a hand at the lanky soldier.’
      • ‘He wanted to make sure he had heard his friend correctly, but he was afraid if he came right out with it, he would be wrong.’
      • ‘Come on, man, out with it. What has been worrying you these last days?’
      • ‘‘I love Liana,’ he said, coming right out with it.’
      • ‘When we reached a nearby park and sat down, she came out with it.’
      • ‘So out with it woman, I'm sure you have one, so if you do, please share.’
      • ‘Come on, out with it, I want to know the details, including why you haven't told me this before.’
      • ‘Right, out with it - what do I have to do to bring down one of these barriers?’


Old English ūt (adverb), ūtian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch uit and German aus.