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

Definition of breakout

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a violent or forceful break from a restraining condition or situation especially : a military attack to break from encirclement
2 : 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



Definition of breakout (Entry 2 of 3)

: being or relating to a sudden or smashing success especially in comparison to previous efforts a breakout book

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The partnership between the two men spanned a remarkable time for global tech, two decades where boundless optimism saw enormous amounts of capital scouring the globe for the next breakout startup. Jane Li, Quartz, "Masayoshi Son is departing the board of Alibaba, SoftBank’s most successful investment," 25 June 2020 Jerome, who’s the perfect actor to bring the complexity and complicated story to life, has already cemented his status as a breakout Hollywood actor. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Jharrel Jerome To Star In New Boots Riley Series 'I'm A Virgo'," 23 June 2020 In the upcoming summer rom-com, Blockers breakout star Geraldine Viswanathan plays Lucy, an emotional hoarder who can't let go of her previous relationship. Rachel Yang,, "Watch the trailer for The Broken Hearts Gallery, the summer rom-com produced by Selena Gomez," 22 June 2020 Thirty-one years ago, Spike Lee's breakout film Do The Right Thing forced audiences around the world to confront the realities of police injustice perpetrated upon African Americans. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is a hard watch, but an easy Netflix recommendation," 19 June 2020 Kyler Murray should not be counted out to become one of the biggest breakout stars in the league in 2020, especially after the team added DeAndre Hopkins into the mix. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "2021 NFL mock draft: Writers not high on Arizona Cardinals' chances in 2020 season," 19 June 2020 Three successful seasons in Sicily followed -- the third of which was truly his breakout in Europe -- and convinced Juventus to part with upwards of $40 million for Dybala's signature. Matias Grez, CNN, "Paulo Dybala: The boy from the town "where dreams seem unreachable" who became a global superstar," 18 June 2020 Zoom happy hours, interest groups, or virtual breakout rooms are some examples. Doug Claffey,, "Top Workplaces Cincinnati: As remote workers increase, depend more on collaboration," 9 June 2020 Assassination Nation breakout Odessa Young), whose husband Fred (Logan Lerman) has been invited to guest lecture at Bennington College by Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg), Shirley’s husband. Anne Cohen,, "The Final Moments Of Shirley, Explained," 9 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Down only three at the half, the Lady Broncos had a breakout third quarter outscoring the Lady Patriots 12-4 and ending the quarter with a five-point lead. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Girls basketball: Liberty County schools bow out in 1st round," 20 Feb. 2020 American Ashley Wagner was a surprise omission from the U.S. figure skating roster after Tennell's breakout performances in Skate America and the national championships. Anchorage Daily News, "Everything you need to know about the Winter Olympics," 8 Feb. 2018 American Ashley Wagner was a surprise omission from the U.S. figure skating roster after Tennell's breakout performances in Skate America and the national championships. The Washington Post,, "Everything you need to know about the Winter Olympics," 7 Feb. 2018 Sparring Partner Next year's breakout Victoria's Secret supermodel, who has a mean right cross. Benjy Hansen-bundy, GQ, "How To Be Better Than Everyone Else In 2018," 7 Feb. 2018 The evening featured a panel presentation and interactive breakout discussion groups aimed to empower singles to share their common experiences and ideas for proactive solutions. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "South Beach soiree attracts Jewish singles looking for love," 7 Feb. 2018 Johnson said via email, before her breakout weekend. Chadd Cripe, idahostatesman, "U.S. Olympians with ties to Idaho include skier, snowboarders | Idaho Statesman," 6 Feb. 2018 Bartosz Kapustka, a player hyped for his breakout performances for Poland at Euro 2016, failed to play a single Premier League game last season and was loaned to Freiburg for 2017-18., "Extent of Leicester's Poor 2016 Recruitment Made Clear After Last Signings Leave Club," 2 Feb. 2018 Similarly, Haddish’s spirited turn in Girls Trip was one of the breakout performances of 2017. Eliza Berman, Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2018 Oscar Nominations," 23 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Which Ohio State player could be a sleeper ready to break out this season? Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football sleepers ready to break out; what’s with the coronavirus pledge? Buckeye Talk Daily Pod," 16 June 2020 However, his personal development has also put him in a position to break out in 2020 regardless. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys who will soar in 2020, including how Xavier Woods can evolve into a Pro Bowl-caliber safety," 15 June 2020 YouTube, which doesn’t break out earnings, reported advertising revenue of $15 billion. Saritha Rai,, "In India, the YouTube-TikTok Rivalry Turns Nasty," 14 June 2020 Each incident reported on Citizen invites comments, and in our politically fractured environment, these often break out into political discussion. Steven Levy, Wired, "Citizen Isn't Here to Be Your Free-Speech Platform," 12 June 2020 First of all, break out your best Missoni maxi — there’s a girls’ trip on the horizon. Mary Sollosi,, "RHONY mid-season trailer teases a Ramona blow-up and the return of Turtle Time," 11 June 2020 Soon, almost the entire school began to break out in these episodes of uncontrollable laughter, fits that left them unable to attend class for weeks. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "The Down Days Is an Eerily Prescient Pandemic Novel," 10 June 2020 This spring would have been a chance for players like Wilson to break out. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Zoom, virtual tours and highlight reels: How to get recruited during a pandemic," 8 June 2020 When conflict does break out, the FAO can serve as a neutral broker, says Cressman. Popular Science, "An unprecedented locust swarm is creating unlikely allies," 7 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of breakout


1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1960, in the meaning defined above


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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Statistics for breakout

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breakout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for breakout


How to pronounce break out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of breakout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an escape from a prison, jail, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of breakout (Entry 2 of 2)

US : having, causing, or marked by sudden and great success that comes usually after a time without much success


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, 9 July 2007 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, May 1981
\ (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

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breakout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breakout

Nglish: Translation of breakout for Spanish Speakers

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