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 Coinciding with their breakout library performance and high-profile endorsements from Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth and Paramore’s Hayley Williams, the Linda Lindas signed a record deal with Epitaph, a staple of the city’s punk scene. Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2021 Ja Morant had 27 points and 11 assists to cap a breakout performance in his first career playoff series for Memphis. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 3 June 2021 At the same time, her agent also represents Ava (played by Hannah Einbinder in a breakout performance), a young comedy writer whose career is radioactive as a result of writing a very objectionable tweet. Tom Teicholz, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Guard Kelsey Mitchell enjoyed a breakout offensive performance inside the wubble last season. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 5 May 2021 Darrisaw has taken his game to another level every year in Blacksburg, culminating in a true breakout performance in 2020. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2021 There are many appealing elements in play, notably a breakout comic performance by Jana Schmieding, but little clear sense of what the larger theme is going to be., 21 Apr. 2021 The Farewell not only marked a breakout performance for its star Awkwafina but also allowed Ma to shine as her character's father. Rachel Yang,, 21 Apr. 2021 Senior infielder Emma Lach went 2-for-3 with two home runs — including a grand slam — five RBIs, two walks and four runs scored to power the 18-0 breakout performance. Kyle J. Andrews,, 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The British actress was a star across the pond before joining The Good Doctor, thanks to her breakout role in sci-fi dramedy Misfits. Rosy Cordero,, 7 June 2021 Steadman delves into the sign’s provocative history, recounting the sensationalized story of a young woman who jumped off it after losing a breakout role to another, at the time, unknown actress named Katharine Hepburn. Washington Post, 6 June 2021 Two years ago, chickpeas had the kind of breakout year that food developers can only dream about. Micheline Maynard, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 Videos emerged on social media of Akanno holding his own during pickup runs with NBA players such as Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, and Akanno was pointed to as a player who could have a breakout 2020-21 season. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Apr. 2021 While signs of aging haven’t manifested in the form of wrinkles quite yet, battling post-breakout spots has become more of a struggle. Marianne Mychaskiw, Marie Claire, 10 Feb. 2021 Additionally, there will be breakout sessions from presenters in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and more. Andre Toran, The Courier-Journal, 21 Apr. 2021 Viewers could pick which breakout session to be part of. Kristen Griffith,, 2 Apr. 2021 The singer’s European-ness — more Posh Spice than Amy Winehouse — feels essential to her identity, which hasn’t been true of a breakout female act in this country for ages. Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Annie Murphy stars as a stereotypical sitcom wife who tries to break out of the mold — and kill her sitcom husband. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 31 May 2021 If there was ever a good time to break out of his season-long slump, that was the moment. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 23 May 2021 What to Watch in SPX: So basically, bulls seemed to take a victory lap into the weekend, but can the market break out of this long-term range between roughly 4000 and 4200 for the S&P 500 Index (SPX)? Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 17 May 2021 As for why Google finally decided to break out of its shell and produce a unique, original flagship phone with a striking design, Prosser points to the rumor that Google will introduce its GS101 Whitechapel chip alongside the Pixel 6. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 13 May 2021 Sixty-four percent of China’s maritime trade and 40% of its overall trade flows through the South China Sea, through which U.S. naval ships sail regularly. Were hostilities to break out between China and the U.S., the conflict would be a naval one. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2021 Masks may lead to more frequent fights as spats may break out between the comfortable and the cautious. Brian Stelter, CNN, 22 Apr. 2021 If granted, the land title would help protect the women and their livelihoods from clashes over land and water that frequently break out between the Samburu and rival communities. Dominic Kirui, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Mar. 2021 The potential for a fight to break out, for someone to grab at Phil, for something screwy to happen, was high. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 24 May 2021

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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Learn More About breakout

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for breakout



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

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

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Nglish: Translation of breakout for Spanish Speakers


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