bug out


Definition of bug out 

intransitive verb

1 : to retreat during a military action especially : to flee in panic

2 : to depart especially in a hurry

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Other Words from bug out

bugout \ ˈbəg-​ˌau̇t \ noun

Examples of bug out in a Sentence

the ground soldiers bugged out just before the start of the aerial bombing the strange visitor bugged out without so much as saying a word

Recent Examples on the Web

Advances in synthetic biology have made very real the possibility of malicious actors creating harmful pathogens for weaponization — or innocent researchers accidentally releasing a lethal infectious bug out into the world. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "10 ways the world is most likely to end, explained by scientists," 18 Oct. 2018 When my grandma came back from the store with a dozen Krispy Kremes, my eyes bugged out of my skull and my tongue unfurled from my mouth like a carpet and steam blew out of my ears. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Are Homemade Doughnuts Worth the Effort and Fire Hazard?," 13 July 2018 Want to make your out-of-state friends' eyes bug out? Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "8 reasons to love the Phoenix heat in summer," 14 July 2018 Choose a vessel with a narrow top to keep bugs out, and do not change the water if possible. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Houseplant advice for the millennial (or anyone) who doesn’t have a green thumb," 11 July 2018 Does living in space make your gut bacteria bug out? Megan Molteni, WIRED, "NASA's Astro-Mice Will Test What Space Does to Your Gut," 28 June 2018 As all of her neighbors on Front Street in New Richmond were packing up and bugging out ahead of the rising floodwater, Ollie Darnell had no plans of leaving. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Go ahead, call her a crazy cat lady: Woman refuses to leave 80 cats behind in flood," 26 Feb. 2018 Make bugs out of recycled lids and other art supplies, watch as sheep are sheared, visit a bird-feed-making station and more. Alison Stanton, azcentral, "Go green at these Phoenix Earth Day 2018 events," 13 Apr. 2018 When firefighters arrived, McGee was lying on the floor — half in the bedroom, half in the bathroom — still naked and incoherent, his eyes bugged out, his pupils dilated, Watanabe said. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Did son kill mom with hammer in 'fog of Benadryl' after at least 80 allergy pills?," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bug out.' 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 bug out

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bug out

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near bug out



bugong moth

bug out




Statistics for bug out

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for bug out

The first known use of bug out was in 1950

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More from Merriam-Webster on bug out

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bug out

Britannica English: Translation of bug out for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bug out

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


by force of circumstances

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