out·​do | \ ˌau̇t-ˈdü How to pronounce outdo (audio) \
outdid\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdid How to pronounce outdid (audio) \; outdone\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdən How to pronounce outdone (audio) \; outdoing\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdü-​iŋ How to pronounce outdoing (audio) \; outdoes\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdəz How to pronounce outdoes (audio) \

Definition of outdo

transitive verb

1 : to go beyond in action or performance

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Choose the Right Synonym for outdo

exceed, surpass, transcend, excel, outdo, outstrip mean to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree. exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement. exceed the speed limit surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill. the book surpassed our expectations transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits. transcended the values of their culture excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others. excels in mathematics outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before. outdid herself this time outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition. outstripped other firms in sales

Examples of outdo in a Sentence

Smaller companies often outdo larger ones in customer service. My sister always tried to outdo me in school. She scored 20 points in the first game. Not to be outdone, I scored 30 points myself in the second game.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some experts might say the Patriots outdid the 49ers by snagging Sanu, who is taller (6-2) and younger (30) than Sanders, and under contract next season, while Sanders is a 10-game rental. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "New 49er Emmanel Sanders supercharges team’s Super Bowl dreams," 23 Oct. 2019 New Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters left his mark in his Ravens debut with a pick-six, Wilson’s first interception of the season, and cornerback Marlon Humphrey made sure he wasn’t outdone with his scoop-and-score. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Instant analysis: Lamar Jackson, resurgent defense lead Ravens to 30-16 win over Seahawks," 20 Oct. 2019 All candidates on the stage support the inquiry and jostled largely to outdo one another in denouncing the president as corrupt. Los Angeles Times, "Trump impeachment briefly unifies Democrats at debate, but candidates clash over guns, healthcare," 15 Oct. 2019 And California and Sweden have pledged to outdo the others by reaching net zero by 2045. The Economist, "Predicting the climatic future is riddled with uncertainty," 21 Sep. 2019 Ravens 23, Cardinals 17 — Lamar Jackson threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns and ran 16 times (including two kneeldowns) for 120 yards, outdoing a fellow former Heisman winner to move the Ravens to 2-0. BostonGlobe.com, "With Drew Brees watching from the sideline in Los Angeles with an injured hand, the Rams didn’t need a no-call to beat the New Orleans Saints again.," 16 Sep. 2019 There are subplots to watch for - rivalries within the larger field, uneasy alliances aimed at hobbling front-runners, generational friction, a competition to outdo everyone else at Trump bashing. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "20 for 2020: Dual Democratic debates in Miami could be defining or disastrous for presidential hopefuls," 24 June 2019 Not to be outdone, Princeton School District upped the ante when athletic director Joe Roberts coaxed superintendent Tom Burton to Viking Stadium. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Can your high school administrator haul in a football? One catch went viral," 9 Sep. 2019 Not to be outdone, former Salty Donut chef Max Santiago’s Batch, the Cookie Company will rise around the corner on Aug. 31, coinciding with the monthly FAT Village Art Walk. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Flagler Village: New bars, restaurants invade funky Fort Lauderdale village," 23 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outdo

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for outdo

The first known use of outdo was circa 1616

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More Definitions for outdo


How to pronounce outdo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outdo

: to do better than (someone or something) : to be more successful than (someone or something)


out·​do | \ au̇t-ˈdü How to pronounce outdo (audio) \
outdid\ -​ˈdid \; outdone\ -​ˈdən \; outdoing\ -​ˈdü-​iŋ \; outdoes\ -​ˈdəz \

Kids Definition of outdo

: to do better than : surpass He always tries to outdo everyone.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outdo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outdo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outdo

Spanish Central: Translation of outdo

Nglish: Translation of outdo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outdo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outdo

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a calculated move

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