out·​do | \ ˌau̇t-ˈdü How to pronounce outdo (audio) \
outdid\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdid How to pronounce outdo (audio) \; outdone\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdən How to pronounce outdo (audio) \; outdoing\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdü-​iŋ How to pronounce outdo (audio) \; outdoes\ ˌau̇t-​ˈdəz How to pronounce outdo (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 As the week unfolds, avoid any urge to outdo other people with displays of extravagant spending. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 30 May 2021 Morikawa sounds confident about his chances to outdo that finish this time. BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 2021 While no present will outdo the sweet relief of kissing your thesis goodbye forever, thoughtful gifts will elevate any grad's experience during the major life milestone. Erin Parker, Glamour, 11 May 2021 Impossible films, and each installment in the franchise tries to outdo its predecessor. Christian Holub, EW.com, 10 May 2021 This global shift on climate action was on full display at US President Joe Biden's Leaders Climate Summit last month, where world leaders were busy trying to outdo each other by promising hefty cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Peter Rudden, CNN, 3 May 2021 TrumpWorld teemed with little Liddys trying to outdo one another with displays of bravado, running off cliffs like Wile E. Coyotes, rigging political bombs that detonated in their faces. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 Mace and Cunningham tried to outdo each other in opposing offshore drilling. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, 4 Nov. 2020 Its politicians have raced to outdo one another in venal, attention-grabbing rhetoric. Thomas Rogers, The New York Review of Books, 31 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for outdo

Time Traveler

The first known use of outdo was circa 1616

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Statistics for outdo

Last Updated

1 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outdo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outdo. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for outdo



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on outdo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outdo

Nglish: Translation of outdo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outdo for Arabic Speakers


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