out·​do | \ˌau̇t-ˈdü \
outdid\ˌau̇t-​ˈdid \; outdone\ˌau̇t-​ˈdən \; outdoing\ˌau̇t-​ˈdü-​iŋ \; outdoes\ˌau̇t-​ˈdəz \

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

The two guys are trying to outdo each other on who can take the harder line against undocumented immigrants and express heartier support for President Trump. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Primary results prove 2018 will be a breakthrough year for Democratic diversity," 23 May 2018 In the race, Wagner and Mango have jockeyed to outdo each other in appealing to conservatives, while Ellsworth has positioned herself as above political shoving matches. Philly.com, "From trashman to governor? GOP hopeful Scott Wagner wants to be Pa. 'cleanup guy'," 6 May 2018 Six months ago, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un were trying to outdo each other by comparing the size of their nuclear buttons. Jon Wolfsthal, The New Republic, "If It Seems Too Good to Be True...," 21 Apr. 2018 As brands work hard to outdo the other on social media, in 2017 Wendy's rose to the top beating out the competition. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "And the mixtape of the year goes to ... Wendy's?," 26 Mar. 2018 People do try to outdo each other with their horsehide motorcycle find or their reversible gabardine jacket find. Liza Corsillo, GQ, "Design Dealer Patrick Parrish Talks Flea Market Fashion and When To Grab Furniture Off the Street," 13 Mar. 2018 That has given his rivals plenty of ammunition in a primary where the Republican candidates are trying to outdo each other for the distinction of being the most conservative. Brian Slodysko, Indianapolis Star, "Public money fuels Indiana Senate candidate Todd Rokita's publicity bid," 15 Feb. 2018 Not to be outdone by her fellow model colleagues in the shoe department, Bieber threw on a pair of—what else!—ugly dad sneakers. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Hailey Bieber Steps Out In Fashion’s Coolest New Neutral Shade," 19 Nov. 2018 But the opposing Detroit Tigers’ player-manager wasn’t about to be outdone: Ty Cobb, who was in the twilight of his career at age 38. Emma Baccellieri, SI.com, "The Rays and Marlins Played An Incredibly Strange Game on Tuesday Night," 4 July 2018

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

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outdo

The first known use of outdo was circa 1616

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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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outdo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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