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

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

Most of the cases involved marijuana oils, federal authorities say, but the outbreak has also prompted a reckoning over the proliferation of vape products containing nicotine. oregonlive, "U.S. Senate demands answers on vaping illness epidemic as Trump and feds promise action," 11 Sep. 2019 The outbreak has killed as many as six people nationwide. Washington Post, "Potency of Wisconsin THC cartridges may be higher than claim," 11 Sep. 2019 Whether it’s outbreaks of tornados or hurricanes blowing in from the Gulf, weather isn’t just a topic of polite conversation here. al, "Life in a time of Fake Weather," 11 Sep. 2019 Houston health officials said Tuesday the hospitalizations occurred within the past month and fit the profile of the perplexing national outbreak which has killed six people so far. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, "3 in Houston hospitalized with vaping-related lung illness," 10 Sep. 2019 Joe likes to tell me stories about how much better the city was in the nineteen-thirties, when there were still newsboys and polio outbreaks on every corner. Eddie Small, The New Yorker, "My Typical New York Day," 10 Sep. 2019 In the last 15 years, several outbreaks have occurred across the United States. chicagotribune.com, "Some college-aged Americans vaccinated against mumps may not be protected," 10 Sep. 2019 Evidently, the state badly mismanaged an attempt to both contain the outbreak and inform the public. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Introducing The Loop, Fortune’s Newsletter on Sustainability: raceAhead," 10 Sep. 2019 In a statement, Pan wrote: As the latest measles outbreak threatens the country’s elimination status, California acted to keep children safe at school by abolishing non-medical exemptions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Revised CA vaccine bill would revoke exemptions from infamous anti-vax doc [Updated]," 9 Sep. 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on outbreak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outbreak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outbreak

Spanish Central: Translation of outbreak

Nglish: Translation of outbreak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outbreak for Arabic Speakers

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

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!