drop·out | \ˈdräp-ˌau̇t \

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 \

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


The program is designed for dropouts who wish to get high school equivalency certificates.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

They were not counted as dropouts in the state's evaluation system. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "Report: Holding back students cost Texas $384 million last year," 12 Apr. 2018 Girard's bio describes him as a high school dropout who worked as a shoeshine boy, then a newsboy at the Free Press at the age of 9, then a dishwasher, a stove assembler and a home building contractor. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Guinness Records' top car salesman, 89, fights the very idea that he's been topped," 16 Feb. 2018 Connectivity between the two buds was reliable with barely any dropouts in my experience with them. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Sony’s futuristic earbuds are a pain in the present," 29 June 2018 What did our CEOs think became of all those former third graders and dropouts? Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "If Detroit's leaders don't want to talk race, then talk schools," 29 May 2018 Another 40 percent will be based on college- and career-readiness, and 20 percent will be based on graduation or dropout rates. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "TEA details how it will calculate A-F letter grades," 10 Apr. 2018 At the blockbuster plenary sessions, the chairs stretched so far back that even the most youthful Silicon Valley college dropouts-turned VC hoovers had to squint to see the action up in front. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Home From the Honeymoon, the Self-Driving Car Industry Faces Reality," 13 July 2018 Its leader, Luigi Di Maio, was a 26-year-old university dropout who lived with his parents when he was elected to parliament in 2013. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, "The Force Behind Europe’s Populist Tide: Frustrated Young Adults," 17 June 2018 Advanced dry macular degeneration has blind areas where there is a dropout of the normal retinal cells. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Ask the Expert: Macular degeneration can lead to difficulty reading, recognizing faces and performing other fine tasks," 17 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for dropout

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dropout

The first known use of dropout was in 1875

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More Definitions for dropout



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 \

Kids Definition of dropout

: a person who quits school or a training program

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Comments on dropout

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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