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

Texture becomes a version of topography, with Poorvu’s lichens outdoing even Green’s leather. BostonGlobe.com, "At the Griffin Museum, three shows and an array of photography talent - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 Leave it to Scott to not only draw inspiration from the most ’80s references of all, but to outdo the more-is-more decade on all fronts. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Jem and the Holograms," 7 Sep. 2019 The Washington Psychotronic Film Society’s weekly screenings in the basement of the Adams Morgan beer bar skew toward the bizarre and campy, but this one might outdo its previous selections. Washington Post, "17 things to do in the D.C. area over Labor Day weekend," 29 Aug. 2019 Those keen on fame are generally eager to outdo the stars who have come before them. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Elusive Price—and Prize—of Fame on the Internet," 20 Aug. 2019 And while teams do not hang banners for performance at the trading deadline, the Astros outdid their peers among baseball’s power elite. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "The Astros Are Major League Baseball’s Happy Place," 16 Aug. 2019 Even the cherished super-recognisers will be outdone once facial-recognition algorithms improve, predicts Rick Muir of the Police Foundation, a think-tank. The Economist, "British ethicists are challenging justice by algorithm," 8 Aug. 2019 Making more moonshots In terms of computing power, a modern cellphone could outdo the entire Apollo spacecraft, physicist Michio Kaku wrote in a 2011 book. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "How NASA’s Apollo program kicked off Silicon Valley’s tech revolution," 5 Aug. 2019 Many privacy-conscious Austrians don’t like leaving records of their spending by using credit cards all the time (as is the case in Germany, too) and parties are now trying to outdo each other on the hard-currency front. David Meyer, Fortune, "A Stagflationary Shock: CEO Daily," 26 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

17 Sep 2019

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 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

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

What made you want to look up outdo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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