break·​out | \ ˈbrāk-ˌau̇t How to pronounce breakout (audio) \
plural breakouts

Definition of breakout

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a violent or forceful break from a restraining condition or situation: such as
a : a military attack to break from encirclement
b : an escape from prison or jail
2a : an eruption or inflammation of the skin Because stress can throw your hormones out of balance, it can make normal sebaceous glands produce oil at an increased rate, causing breakouts.Harper's Bazaar
b : an outbreak of disease a measles breakout
3 : a success or accomplishment especially in comparison to previous efforts His breakout in 2006 felt like one of those too-good-to-be-true narratives …— S. L. Price
4 : breakout session They met in breakouts to exchange beat information and story ideas on the crucial coverage areas …Editor & Publisher
5 ice hockey : a play that moves the puck out of the defensive zone … several drills during practice stressed short, crisp passing on the breakouts.— David J. Neal



Definition of breakout (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : being or relating to a sudden or smashing success especially in comparison to previous efforts a breakout book
2 : being, relating to, or used in a breakout session a breakout discussion breakout activities … some students have thrived in the small groups afforded by virtual breakout rooms.— Jal Mehta In breakout groups, they debated which proposals would have the most impact, but also the most support.— Hannan Adely

break out

broke out; broken out; breaking out; breaks out

Definition of break out (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to develop or emerge with suddenness or force fire broke out a riot broke out
2a : to become covered break out in a sweat
b : to become affected with an eruption or inflammation of the skin break out in hives his face broke out with acne
3 : to make a break from a restraining condition or situation broke out of a slump broke out of jail

transitive verb

1a : to make ready for action or use break out the tents and make camp
b : to produce for consumption break out a bottle of champagne
2 : to display flying and unfurled
3 : to separate from a mass of data break out newsstand sales

Synonyms for breakout

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of breakout in a Sentence

Noun the captives had been planning to stage a breakout at the next change in shift for the guards Adjective The company had a breakout year last year, tripling its profits from the previous year. Verb in the wake of news reports of deaths from the flu, panic broke out, and there was a mad rush for flu shots
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All three actors are set to return for the second season of Hulu's breakout hit, which will premiere June 28 with new cast members Amy Schumer and Carla Delevingne. Devan Coggan,, 6 May 2022 An all-access reality documentary based on AP Dhillon – the breakout star of the global Punjabi hip hop scene. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 Jordan Poole has been the breakout star of the playoffs so far. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2022 Villarreal now believes Danjuma, its breakout star, could one day fetch $100 million. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Houston’s Kyle Tucker, deemed a breakout star, is currently hitting .095 in 48 plate appearances, with an OPS of .446. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 21 Apr. 2022 The breakout team of the regular season continued its rise as the young core won its first playoff series together. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 1 May 2022 Infielders Odor, Ramón Urías and Tyler Nevin combined to hit 1-for-22 in the first two games of the series, but the trio collaborated for a breakout fifth inning — Odor singled, Urías doubled and Nevin drove both runners in with a single. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 1 May 2022 Rossi hopes to use Barber as his breakout race in a frustrating start to the season, the final year in his contract with Andretti. al, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Panettiere had a breakout role as cheerleader Claire Bennett in NBC superhero series, Heroes. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2022 The idea was based on a promotional photograph of Monroe used for the 1953 film Niagara, considered by many to have been her breakout role. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 10 May 2022 Born and raised in New York City, Peck began performing stand-up comedy as an adolescent before a breakout role on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show led to Drake & Josh. Aili Nahas,, 9 Mar. 2022 Last month, Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins publicized that his breakout All-Star season came in the wake of having 10-15 centimeters of intestine removed to treat Crohn’s disease. Nathan Ruiz,, 14 Mar. 2022 There also aren't breakout scorers on this team, with only Gabe Brown (11.5 ppg) averaging in double figures. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 13 Mar. 2022 Led by Mershon Dickerson’s breakout 29-point performance, Butler ran Fern Creek off the floor in a 79-68 win, cruising to Friday’s semifinal round against Doss at 6 p.m. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 14 Jan. 2022 Reuniting with Nolan marks a special moment for Dastmalchian, who is coming off of the biggest year of his career, with a breakout role as the Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad and a turn in Dune as the creepy Piter De Vries. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2022 Since she was cast in her breakout role as Maddy Perez on Euphoria in 2019, Alexa Demie has been a true enigma on the Hollywood scene. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 23 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dressing like these ultra-stylish Wilderness Girls from 1989's Troop Beverly Hills is enough to make anyone break out the cookies. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2022 Note that Toshiba and WDC did not break out data on Other Mass storage after C1Q 2021, so this data is understated. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Even a wool sweater can make some people break out in hives. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 25 Apr. 2022 Dabrowska never expected war to break out, so Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine stunned her into inaction for three or four days. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Gen Z has also shown that its members, particularly girls, can be a powerful force for making movies and TV shows break out. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 Analysts fear that further violence could break out in Jerusalem, where higher numbers of Jews and Muslims are likely to try to enter the Temple Mount or the Aqsa Mosque compound during the overlapping festivals. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Euphoria's break out star Angus Cloud, the newest face of Polo by Ralph Lauren fragrances, was also in attendance as well as Gossip Girl's Evan Mock. Robyn Merrett,, 23 Mar. 2022 And in another sketch, Zelensky’s character watches a mass brawl break out between members of the Ukrainian parliament. Itxu Díaz, National Review, 12 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of breakout


1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1960, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for breakout

Time Traveler

The first known use of breakout was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near breakout

break open


break out

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Statistics for breakout

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breakout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for breakout


break·​out | \ ˈbrā-ˌkau̇t How to pronounce breakout (audio) \

Medical Definition of breakout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an eruption or inflammation of the skin This is especially true for those who have acne and are desperate to stop breakouts without taking prescription antibiotics …— Stacie Stukin, The Los Angeles Times Because stress can throw your hormones out of balance, it can make normal sebaceous glands produce oil at an increased rate, causing breakouts.Harper's Bazaar

break out

intransitive verb
\ (ˈ)brā-ˈkau̇t How to pronounce break out (audio) \

Medical Definition of break out (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be affected with a skin eruption and especially one indicative of the presence of a particular disease breaking out with measles
2 of a disease : to manifest itself by skin eruptions
3 : to become covered with break out in a sweat

More from Merriam-Webster on breakout

Nglish: Translation of breakout for Spanish Speakers


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