outbreak

noun
out·break | \ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

That outbreak has sickened 227 people in four states; Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Maggie Fox /, NBC News, "61 sick in parasite outbreak linked to McDonald's salads," 14 July 2018 The cereal is linked to a salmonella outbreak that, so far, has affected 73 people in 31 states, the CDC says. Devon Elizabeth, SELF, "Update: There Are Now 100 Salmonella Cases Linked to Recalled Honey Smacks Cereal," 13 July 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a popular Kellogg's cereal has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has infected 100 people in 33 states. CBS News, "CDC warning on Kellogg's Honey Smacks: "Do not eat this cereal"," 13 July 2018 The recall of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal has been expanded by the Food and Drug Administration after a salmonella outbreak. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Honey Smacks recall: 100 salmonella infections in 33 states," 13 July 2018 Past outbreaks have been blamed on basil from Peru, snow peas from Guatemala and cilantro from Mexico. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "McDonald’s Removes Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite Outbreak in Midwest," 13 July 2018 So far, 100 people from 33 states have been infected by this outbreak , according to CDC. Shelia Poole, ajc, "Kellogg’s recalls “Honey Smacks” over salmonella concerns," 13 July 2018 With just two bites—one to pick up a pathogen and another to transmit it—the bugs have fueled countless outbreaks. Dan Strickman, Scientific American, "Buzz Kill: Our Best Weapons against Mosquitoes," 13 July 2018 Rubio said in a news release before discussing the algae outbreak on the Senate floor on Tuesday. Jim Turner, Sun-Sentinel.com, "White House backs Everglades reservoir," 11 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of outbreak

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about outbreak

Statistics for outbreak

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outbreak

The first known use of outbreak was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of outbreak

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

outbreak

noun
out·break | \ˈau̇t-ˌbrāk \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on outbreak

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!