drop·​out | \ ˈdräp-ˌau̇t How to pronounce dropout (audio) \

Definition of dropout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one who drops out of school
b : one who drops out of conventional society
c : one who abandons an attempt, activity, or chosen path a corporate dropout
2 : a momentary defect on a magnetic tape or disk caused by a temporary loss of signal

drop out

\ ˌdräp-ˈau̇t How to pronounce drop out (audio) \
dropped out; dropping out; drops out

Definition of drop out (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to withdraw from participation or membership : quit especially : to withdraw from conventional society

Examples of dropout in a Sentence

Noun The program is designed for dropouts who wish to get high school equivalency certificates.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bobby Lee Verdugo, one of the leaders of the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkout to protest discrimination and dropout rates among Mexican-American students, which triggered a movement across the American Southwest, died Friday. Russell Contreras, BostonGlobe.com, "Bobby Lee Verdugo, leader of 1968 LA school walkout, dies," 2 May 2020 Rob Frost, chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party and a county board of elections member, ​said colleges letting out – a ​preventive measure to curb the spread of coronavirus – accounted for 100 of the worker dropouts. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County short 500 poll workers, part of a larger statewide shortage due to coronavirus," 13 Mar. 2020 The decision, announced by city authorities on Friday, came just two days after Austin public health officials said the event could proceed as planned despite despite a string of high-profile dropouts and widespread calls to cancel. Kerry Flynn And Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "SXSW is canceled over coronavirus concerns," 6 Mar. 2020 That rat Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar and the big wigs at the DNC orchestrated the timing of dropouts and endorsements to maximally help Joe Biden’s once moribund campaign. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Bernie’s Revolution Came — and Went," 5 Mar. 2020 Another breadcrumb for those who are on dropout watch. Libby Cathey, ABC News, "Super Tuesday results: Biden sweeps the South, Sanders strong in the West, anemic outcome for Bloomberg," 3 Mar. 2020 Harris’s endorsement of Biden follows pledges to support the former Vice President from other dropouts from the Democratic primaries, including Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and Mike Bloomberg. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "Kamala Harris Endorses Joe Biden as Rev. Jesse Jackson Officially Backs Bernie Sanders," 8 Mar. 2020 The investigative team is also still looking into an issue that led to multiple dropouts in communications between the ground and spacecraft during key moments of the flight. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA declares Starliner mishap a “high visibility close call”," 6 Mar. 2020 Tokyo is among several cities with helplines and websites that try to reach shut-ins, who range from teenage school dropouts to salarymen who have been sacked. The Economist, "Mental health in Japan A growing number of Japanese have become recluses," 28 Nov. 2019

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


1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1875, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dropout

Time Traveler

The first known use of dropout was in 1875

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Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dropout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dropout. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for dropout


How to pronounce drop out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dropout

: a person who stops going to a school, college, etc., before finishing : a person who drops out of school
: a person who stops being involved in society because he or she does not believe in its rules, customs, and values


drop·​out | \ ˈdräp-ˌau̇t How to pronounce dropout (audio) \

Kids Definition of dropout

: a person who quits school or a training program

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