noun

  • 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.’
    • ‘Evans is reportedly looking for an out after spending £8m on the team.’
    • ‘He was becoming sloppy and careless - I think he was looking for an out.’
  • 2Baseball
    An act of putting a player out.

    • ‘Simply put, the pitcher who can give up the least percentage of flyball outs is best on track for good overall numbers.’
    • ‘In three at-bats he hit into two double plays and one triple play to account for seven outs.’
    • ‘The next night, he made two outs in one inning, although he went 2-for - 4 with a home run in the game.’
    • ‘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.’

Usage

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