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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The dropouts could make life easier for voters like Cheri Schmitt, a 56-year-old elementary school teacher in New Hampshire who has set herself the goal of meeting each of the Democratic candidates. Los Angeles Times, "Trump’s remarks about ‘disloyal’ Jews highlight the tribalism of his politics," 23 Aug. 2019 In a world where college dropouts are business heroes, and only suckers pay their taxes, Ruiz would be the undisputed champion of taking shortcuts. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Marathon cheater Rosie Ruiz was an anti-hero ahead of her time," 9 Aug. 2019 The two Stanford dropouts, both 23, are the founders of Brex, one of the hottest young companies today. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "Bad Times in Tech? Not if You’re a Start-Up Serving Other Start-Ups," 2 Aug. 2019 That’s nearly 10 times as much as the $102 high school dropouts spend each year on booze. NBC News, "Pour decisions? The better educated you are, the more you drink," 14 June 2019 But only Lees has gone from onetime dropout to the verge of having four college degrees. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA’s 31-year-old punter Wade Lees continues his life journey in Westwood," 15 Aug. 2019 And Barr’s father was the headmaster of an elite New York City school that hired college dropout Epstein to teach math and physics. Joyce White Vance, Time, "William Barr Is the Wrong Person to Lead the Jeffrey Epstein Investigation," 15 Aug. 2019 By his own admission to a Tribune reporter, Battle, a high school dropout, has struggled with mental illness and homelessness since grammar school. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Trial into killing of off-duty Chicago cop begins with defendant representing himself: ‘I’m not coming in here to lose’," 14 Aug. 2019 The good: The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless headphones fit comfortably and sound excellent, and their wireless performance was solid with minimal dropouts. courant.com, "CNET: The best-sounding true wireless headphones of 2019," 25 July 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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Statistics for dropout

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce dropout (audio) \

Kids Definition of dropout

: a person who quits school or a training program

More from Merriam-Webster on dropout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dropout

Nglish: Translation of dropout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dropout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dropout

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readily or continually undergoing change

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