outbreak

noun
out·​break | \ ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk How to pronounce outbreak (audio) \

Definition of outbreak

1a : a sudden or violent increase in activity or currency the outbreak of war
b : a sudden rise in the incidence of a disease an outbreak of measles
c : a sudden increase in numbers of a harmful organism and especially an insect within a particular area an outbreak of locusts

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Examples of outbreak in a Sentence

there was an immediate outbreak of paper shuffling and a pretense of work when the supervisor passed through the room the government quelled the outbreak with ruthless efficiency
Recent Examples on the Web The evacuees were flown on a charter flight earlier this week from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the new virus outbreak. Robert Jablon, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. mandates quarantine for 195 Wuhan evacuees who passed through Anchorage," 31 Jan. 2020 An Oxford hardware store saw a run on its supply from Miami University students worried about a possible local outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Coronavirus: Face masks might help, but better protection comes with hand-washing," 31 Jan. 2020 That process typically moves a lot slower than a disease outbreak. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Coronavirus Research Is Moving at Top Speed—With a Catch," 31 Jan. 2020 Stock markets tumbled in Asia Wednesday as fears over the spread of the deadly outbreak rattled investors. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Some US businesses restrict travel to China, close stores because of coronavirus as economic fallout spreads," 30 Jan. 2020 AP Photo/Kin Cheung During the kind of virus outbreak that China and other nations are now contending with, time is of the essence. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "How artificial intelligence provided early warnings of the Wuhan virus," 25 Jan. 2020 The researchers who wrote the two papers and other experts cautioned that these were small studies with limited numbers of patients in a rapidly evolving outbreak. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "New coronavirus can cause infections with no symptoms and sicken otherwise healthy people, studies show," 24 Jan. 2020 Health-care companies led a broad slide in U.S. stocks Friday afternoon as increased fears over the spread of a deadly outbreak of coronavirus rattled markets. CBS News, "Stocks fall as coronavirus cases appear in U.S.," 24 Jan. 2020 The [Chinese Communist Party] is once again keeping the world in the dark about a deadly outbreak. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Trump thanks Xi Jinping for ‘efforts and transparency’ in fight to contain coronavirus," 24 Jan. 2020

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

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for outbreak

Time Traveler

The first known use of outbreak was in 1562

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Statistics for outbreak

Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Outbreak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outbreak. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for outbreak

outbreak

noun
How to pronounce outbreak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outbreak

: a sudden start or increase of fighting or disease

outbreak

noun
out·​break | \ ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk How to pronounce outbreak (audio) \

Kids Definition of outbreak

: a sudden occurrence or increase of something an outbreak of chicken pox

outbreak

noun
out·​break | \ ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk How to pronounce outbreak (audio) \

Medical Definition of outbreak

1 : a sudden rise in the incidence of a disease an outbreak of measles
2 : a sudden increase in numbers of a harmful organism and especially an insect within a particular area an outbreak of locusts

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