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drop·​out ˈdräp-ˌau̇t How to pronounce dropout (audio)
: one who drops out of school
: one who drops out of conventional society
: one who abandons an attempt, activity, or chosen path
a corporate dropout
: a momentary defect on a magnetic tape or disk caused by a temporary loss of signal

drop out

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dropped out; dropping out; drops out

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
And there’s a dropout rate—PitchBook in February estimated that 37% of VCs who raised a first fund will not be able to raise a second. Allie Garfinkle, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2024 Adapted from Sara Gruen’s 2006 best-seller, the story follows the young Jacob Jankowski (Grant Gustin), a vet school dropout who stumbles into a job with a down-and-out circus in the early 1930s. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for dropout 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dropout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dropout was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near dropout

Cite this Entry

“Dropout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dropout. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
drop·​out ˈdräp-ˌau̇t How to pronounce dropout (audio)
: a person who drops out especially from a school or a training program

drop out

2 of 2 verb
: to withdraw from taking part or membership : quit
dropped out of school
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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