Definition of washout in US English:



  • 1informal An event or period that is spoiled by constant or heavy rain.

    ‘last summer was a bit of a washout here’
    ‘what had looked in the gray morning to be a washout turned into a great day’
    • ‘After all, there are no guarantees that a summer wedding in the middle of June won't be a washout.’
    • ‘The only thing that was a washout was the Torchlight Procession planned for Sunday evening, which had to be cancelled because of the weather.’
    • ‘After a washout on Wednesday, the queue down Church Road was encouragingly huge and inside the All England Club players were hurrying to the practice courts.’
    • ‘If we'd had a more settled weekend, no doubt the numbers would have been higher, but we certainly didn't have a washout.’
    • ‘But now, after four wins and a washout in their last five games, they have climbed from seventh to fifth, and have overtaken England in the process.’
    • ‘Through no fault of the organisers, last year's River Festival was a total washout, with torrential rain and flooding.’
    • ‘We didn't lose a single Test, and but for two terrible washouts we might have won 6-0.’
    • ‘But far from being a washout, the fun continued with revellers and entertainers singing and dancing in the rain.’
    • ‘But the rain came down again, leading to two further washouts, and the players christened the game the Match that Refused to Die.’
    • ‘The washout heightened expectations for the five-match series against the world's top-ranked teams starting at Wellington tomorrow.’
    • ‘The Hack and I recently took an overnight trip to the Grampians which ended up being a washout.’
    • ‘The Glenpark side are one of several teams whose campaign has thus far been blighted by a total washout.’
    • ‘We then went on to Sri Lanka where the one-day part of the tour was virtually a washout and it meant I played very little cricket at all.’
    • ‘And the odds are stacked in favour of a washout next week, too.’
    • ‘But those hopes were scuppered by Friday's torrential rain which also made Saturday a total washout, and even prevented any play until after lunch yesterday.’
    • ‘The vagaries of the British weather render many summer song spectaculars a washout.’
    • ‘Yesterday was a bit of a washout - it rained on and off most of the day so I spent my time in museums.’
    • ‘Norths and Easts were forced to endure their second washout in three weeks and will be keen to get some game time in coming weeks.’
    1. 1.1 A disappointing failure.
      ‘the film was a washout’
      • ‘This series will be neither a washout nor a classic - about as good as the last one.’
      • ‘To prospective employers, let me say that I'd be willing to fail for a fraction of the cost of other corporate washouts.’
      • ‘The spring rolls are actually pretty good, but the tamarind dipping sauce is a washout.’
      • ‘I wouldn't say that the band is actually a washout, or even really that bad, but listening to all of their best hits back-to-back makes you realize just how little they experimented with their sound.’
      • ‘The first trip was a real washout with the river actually being in the farmers' field in most places.’
      • ‘The truth is, when it comes to high school draft picks, there are many more successes than washouts.’
      • ‘New Years was a bit if a washout, which was a bit of a shame.’
      • ‘Last season was a washout because of injuries (right hand and thumb).’
      • ‘I was able to get a lot of reading done last week because television, outside the final episode of The Sopranos, was a washout.’
      • ‘He may be charming but he is willful, thoroughly spoiled and a washout in politics.’
      • ‘But when it comes to human relations, he's a washout.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the duo's shining moments - even if they occasionally seem accidental - emerge with just enough frequency to justify the prudent skipping of the album's outright washouts.’
      • ‘What others might call a washout was exactly what she wanted.’
      • ‘But he suffered several injuries, and his year was a washout.’
      • ‘There will be a day when some nice fish are caught, but the next day, in the same place, it will be a near washout.’
      failure, disappointment, let-down, loser, non-achiever, ne'er-do-well
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  • 2A breach in a road or railroad track caused by flooding.

    ‘chores like repairing washouts in the gravel access road’
    • ‘Especially if you're a hiker, for whom the after effects of the resultant washouts, debris flows, landslides and more mean that this summer's range of destinations won't be quite the same.’
    • ‘There were three days of waiting at Port Augusta due to a washout further up the line.’
    • ‘You also want to be sure you don't set up your trailer and the generator in an area that might be subject to washouts or runoff from a slope.’
    • ‘There were burned trees felled along the way and six foot deep washouts.’
    • ‘Freezing temperatures, blowing snow, landslides and washouts all keep the maintenance of way crews busy on the pass.’
    • ‘The railway was plagued early on by frequent landslides and washouts, especially during the severe rainy season of 1979.’
    • ‘The railway went through some of Australia's most desolate and flood prone country, often suffering washouts with passengers marooned for several days.’
    • ‘This is the Dairy State, after all, and milk is money; washouts, deep mud, and other excuses for missing the daily udder-to-market runs are unacceptable to farmfolk.’
    • ‘It can wheel through thick mud and washouts without getting stuck and without leaving behind big ruts.’
    • ‘The result is an oxymoron: a mountainous minimalist design, where ridge lines tumbling off mountain flanks are carried through as fairway contours and washouts serve as hazards and even bunkers.’
    • ‘It was conceivable the washout could have occurred only an hour before the boys drove down the track.’
    • ‘What had actually happened was that she had encountered an unseen, unmarked washout across the road more than three feet wide.’
    • ‘So far this year, we've gotten the construction completed on the Weiskopf layout before the rains hit, but there's been a few washouts.’
    • ‘There were washouts, hairpin turns, all kinds of logistical problems, food problems, and fuel problems, but it was a great adventure.’
    • ‘The washout was caused by heavy rains on Thursday but did not become apparent until the Des Moines track started to dry out on Friday afternoon.’
    1. 2.1Geology A channel cut into a sedimentary deposit by rushing water and filled with younger material.
  • 3Medicine
    The removal of material or a substance from the body or a part of it, either by washing with a fluid, or by allowing it to be eliminated over a period.

    • ‘Arthroscopic debridement and washout has a role as a temporising procedure in early osteoarthritis associated with mechanical symptoms.’
    • ‘The severity of this interaction necessitates a five-week washout when switching a patient from fluoxetine to an MAOI to allow complete elimination of the fluoxetine.’
    • ‘The abdomen was left open to allow for additional debridements and washouts of necrotizing fasciitis of the abdominal wall.’
    • ‘She returned to the operating room 5 times for washouts of her open abdomen within the first week after admission.’
    • ‘Two developed postoperative infection one of which required bilateral antral washout, the other settled with medical treatment.’