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 Emergent began paying attention to the coronavirus in mid-January of 2020, when the outbreak was largely confined to China and a few cruise ships. Alex Knapp, Forbes, "Little-Known Publicly Traded Company Given Massive Deal To Manufacture One-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine," 1 Mar. 2021 But testing remains important for tracking and containing the outbreak. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "FDA signs off on third shot to fight virus," 28 Feb. 2021 While at first friends and family dropped off food and gifts every day – the family outbreak coincided with Christmas – the visits fizzled out by January. oregonlive, "COVID-19′s disparate toll on Oregon, one year later," 28 Feb. 2021 In the months that followed, the outbreak metastasized into the nation’s largest. Katheryn Houghton And Laura Ungar, The Courier-Journal, "Montana health director nominee once faced criticism over Kentucky's hepatitis A outbreak," 28 Feb. 2021 Since coming back from its coronavirus outbreak, Baylor has survived a close game against Iowa State, the worst team in the Big 12, and lost Saturday at No. 19 Kansas, 71-58. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Baylor's first loss may be blessing in disguise before possible NCAA Tournament run," 28 Feb. 2021 Hospitals had to switch to emergency generators to keep ventilators running amid a coronavirus outbreak that was among India’s worst. New York Times, "China Appears to Warn India: Push Too Hard and the Lights Could Go Out," 28 Feb. 2021 Lots of nursing homes and senior living centers have been on lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak, which means no visitors for the folks there. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Tips for keeping your dog safe from thieves," 27 Feb. 2021 But testing remains important for tracking and containing the outbreak. BostonGlobe.com, "Plunging demand for COVID-19 tests may leave US exposed," 27 Feb. 2021

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 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outbreak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outbreak. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for outbreak

outbreak

noun

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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