Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

outbreak

play
noun out·break \ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk\

Simple Definition of outbreak

  • : a sudden start or increase of fighting or disease

Full Definition of outbreak

  1. 1 a :  a sudden or violent increase in activity or currency <the outbreak of war> b :  a sudden rise in the incidence of a disease <an outbreak of measles> c :  a sudden increase in numbers of a harmful organism and especially an insect within a particular area <an outbreak of locusts>

  2. 2 :  insurrection, revolt

Examples of outbreak

  1. <there was an immediate outbreak of paper shuffling and a pretense of work when the supervisor passed through the room>

  2. <the government quelled the outbreak with ruthless efficiency>



1602

First Known Use of outbreak

1602


OUTBREAK Defined for Kids

outbreak

play
noun out·break \ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk\

Definition of outbreak

  1. :  a sudden occurrence or increase of something <an outbreak of chicken pox>




Medical Dictionary

outbreak

play
noun out·break \ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk\

Medical Definition of outbreak

  1. 1:  a sudden rise in the incidence of a disease <an outbreak of measles>

  2. 2:  a sudden increase in numbers of a harmful organism and especially an insect within a particular area <an outbreak of locusts>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up outbreak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ