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 Too much too soon leaves you with having to endlessly outdo yourself, which inevitably leads to overdoing. Marni Jameson, orlandosentinel.com, "Tension in the room could be a good thing," 6 Nov. 2020 Trump is certain to outdo his 2016 winning percentage when all of the votes are counted. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Trump has a lead in Utah’s early vote count," 4 Nov. 2020 Too much too soon leaves you with having to endlessly outdo yourself, which inevitably leads to overdoing. Marni Jameson | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Tension can be a good thing, at least in designing a room that lets opposites attract the eye," 3 Nov. 2020 It’s always hard, no matter what coaches preach, for players coming off an emotional win to avoid trying to outdo themselves. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Matthew Stafford was great last week. This week he may have to be perfect," 1 Nov. 2020 Company researchers race to be first to bring a new kind of therapy to market or work on treatments that can outdo older medicines, while marketers roll out campaigns designed to boost sales at the expense of rivals. Joseph Walker, WSJ, "To Find a Coronavirus Vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline Is Bonding With Its Biggest Competitors," 24 Oct. 2020 But the bottom line is that no other drive-thru coffee chain has managed to outdo this fall coffee classic. Lauren Saria, The Arizona Republic, "We ranked Starbucks, Dutch Bros and Dunkin's 6 pumpkin coffee drinks from worst to best," 13 Oct. 2020 Be content to work with others in the week ahead without feeling it necessary to outdo them. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 4, 2020: Taurus, you’ll be feeling a bit rebellious; Capricorn, it’s how you frame it," 4 Oct. 2020 Since every season of The Masked Singer seems to outdo the last, the show is upping the ante in season 4 by introducing an important first — a duo costume, also known as the Snow Owls. Katie Bourque, Good Housekeeping, "Who Are the Snow Owls on 'The Masked Singer?' Fans Are Certain They've Figured It Out," 23 Sep. 2020

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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Outdo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outdo. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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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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