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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web All across the globe there are metropolises and megalopolises alike that greatly outdo New York City in population size, though the five boroughs remain the largest city center in the United States. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2022 The ever-increasing numbers underscore the arms race between attackers and defenders as each attempt to outdo the other. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 21 Sep. 2022 Some space policy experts bat down talk of a new space race, seeing big differences from John F. Kennedy’s Cold War drive to outdo the Soviet Union’s Sputnik and be the first to get people on the moon. Ellen Knickmeyer, Orlando Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2022 There is a bit of an infotainment screen arms race going on right now in the auto industry, with legacy automakers and startups alike all trying to outdo one another in size and functionality. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 12 Jan. 2021 Winners are revealed months in advance, which means the only competition comes in performers trying to outdo themselves to pay homage to the honorees. Nancy Kruh, Peoplemag, 26 Aug. 2022 After three games with his new team, the 6-5 guard appears primed to outdo himself as a member of the Wildcats. The Courier-Journal, 13 Aug. 2022 One hectic yet dull scene follows another as the animals seek to outdo one another with a dozen or more kinds of superpowers. Kyle Smith, WSJ, 28 July 2022 Reeves and Stahelski are now back for round four to outdo themselves yet again. Carson Burton, Variety, 22 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near outdo



outdo oneself

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Statistics for outdo

Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Outdo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outdo. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for outdo


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

Nglish: Translation of outdo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outdo for Arabic Speakers


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