noun bail·out \ ˈbā-ˌlau̇t \
Updated on: 9 Feb 2018

Definition of bailout

: a rescue from financial distress

Examples of bailout in a Sentence

  1. government bailouts of large corporations

Recent Examples of bailout from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bailout.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bailout


bail out


Definition of bail out

intransitive verb
1 : to parachute from an aircraft
2 : to abandon a harmful or difficult situation; also : leave, depart

Examples of bail out in a Sentence

  1. if the meeting seems like it will never end, find an excuse to bail out

  2. the government bailed out the savings and loan industry

First Known Use of bail out


Financial Definition of BAILOUT


What It Is

A bailout is financial help for ailing companies.

How It Works

Company XYZ is in the newspaper industry and has seen a dramatic downturn in its advertising sales. The company's board believes that if it can launch an interactive digital version of its product, which has been in development for two years, it could become a viable business again.

Company XYZ publishes the only paper in the county, and Company ABC loves the newspaper. Company ABC agrees to lend Company XYZ enough money to launch the new digital product, and it prices the loan at an interest rate below what Company XYZ could get anywhere else. Essentially, Company ABC gives Company XYZ a bailout.

Bailouts can be loans, but they can also be stock, cash, bonds, or other forms of money.

Why It Matters

Bailouts are essentially monies intended to get companies out of trouble. Often, governments give bailouts to companies whose bankruptcies would cost what the government deems "too many jobs" or cause "too much" damage.

Bailouts are a challenge to capitalism in its purest sense. Critics of bailouts argue, for example, that companies should be left to succeed and fail on their own merits, and that supply and demand in the free markets will always determine the worth of goods and services. Supporters of bailouts argue that bailouts are sometimes the lesser of two evils when it comes to a company failing and displacing thousands of workers.

BAILOUT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of bailout for English Language Learners

  • : the act of saving or rescuing something (such as a business) from money problems

Law Dictionary


noun bail·out \ ˈbāl-ˌau̇t \

legal Definition of bailout

: a rescue from financial distress

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to fix or define the limits of

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