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 That’s why massive open online courses had such a high dropout rate initially. Joe Didonato, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2022 Clay is also a felon (for selling narcotics), a college dropout, and has psychiatric and physical health problems. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 24 May 2022 Wilson praised Carol Johnson, the BPS superintendent from 2007-2013, in her episode for lowering the dropout out rates by about 40 percent, setting achievement standards by grade levels, and bringing in the Boston Debate League during her tenure. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 College dropout Austin Lucas noticed something while working at a small-town mobile phone repair shop. Brendan Nystedt, Wired, 17 Mar. 2022 The Stanford dropout and Theranos founder defrauded investors and endangered the health of patients by making false claims about her blood-testing technology. Diane Garrett, Variety, 12 Mar. 2022 The lone dropout this week is Florida, edged by a single poll point by Georgia Tech for the 25th spot. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2022 Most strikingly, 26 percent of lesbians reported at least one dropout period, compared with 15 percent of heterosexual females. NBC News, 1 Mar. 2022 So Earl Thomas, dentistry dropout and classical casualty, became Earl Thomas the soul stylist. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near dropout

drop one's gaze


drop out

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Statistics for dropout

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dropout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dropout. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for dropout


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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