out·​right | \ ˌau̇t-ˈrīt How to pronounce outright (audio) \

Definition of outright

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : straight ahead : directly
2 : in entirety : completely rejected the proposal outright outright refuses to cooperate with law enforcement— Tim Murphy
3 : without restraint or reservation laughed outright cried outright
4 : on the spot : instantaneously was killed outright
5 : without lien (see lien sense 1) or encumbrance (see encumbrance sense 2) purchased the property outright for cash


out·​right | \ ˈau̇t-ˌrīt How to pronounce outright (audio) \

Definition of outright (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : being completely or exactly what is stated an outright lie
b : given without reservation outright grants for research
c : made without encumbrance or lien an outright sale
2 archaic : proceeding directly onward

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Other Words from outright


outrightly adverb

Examples of outright in a Sentence


She won the competition outright. The painting is now owned outright by the museum. Their house was destroyed outright by the fire. I bought the car outright.


I was surprised by their outright rejection of the idea.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Some of those legislative districts look outright weird. al.com, "With gerrymandering ruling, the Supreme Court could have saved democracy. It didn’t," 10 July 2019 At a time when seemingly everything about FC Cincinnati's approach to building its inaugural team has been questioned, probed or outright mocked, the 2019 MLS SuperDraft class is paying immediate dividends. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati bet big on the MLS SuperDraft. So far, it's been a smart gamble.," 3 July 2019 In addition, state patronage, gerrymandering, and outright rigging have been used to manufacture a super majority in the house. Moses Khisa, Quartz Africa, "President Museveni has twisted Uganda’s constitution to cling to power," 21 June 2019 The panel’s decision can be read as a harsh criticism of the air of secrecy that Polster has encouraged and outright ordered since he was appointed to preside over the opioid litigation in late 2017. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Appeals court blasts Cleveland judge’s secrecy in opioid litigation, decision to block public release of DEA painkiller data," 20 June 2019 Her briefings were so prone to error, partisan attacks on Trump’s opponents and outright lies that CNN started fact-checking them in real time. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "The White House does not need to hire another person to lie for the president," 14 June 2019 There are several monstrously overgrown trash piles that are detrimental to the health of locals, and outright deadly for people who get caught in garbage avalanches. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Monstrous Trash Pile Is Killing Locals—and Only Getting Bigger," 10 June 2019 Notification to workers that the sick leave benefit is available to them is required under St. Paul’s ordinance — an issue that labor advocates say some fast food restaurants have ignored outright. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Sick leave 101 for employers: Attorney explains nuanced new rules," 9 June 2019 In some cases, doctors are outright barred from learning or performing the procedure. Sarah Watts, Glamour, "Your Ob-Gyn Might Not Perform Your Abortion—Here's Why," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The flashes of the past suggest, if not outright physical abuse, something strange going on. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Big Little Lies' Crystal Fox teases Bonnie's mom's visions and what they could mean," 1 July 2019 While Inter have remained as the most likely destination throughout the window, Sky Sports claim they are set to make an alternative bid to the £80m outright transfer the Red Devils have been seeking. SI.com, "Report: Inter Offers Man United 2-Year Lukaku Loan With Obligation to Buy," 27 June 2019 People are forgetting that this is a party that has had one outright majority in 25 years. Sahil Handa, National Review, "If It’s ‘Time for Boris,’ the Clock Has Stopped Working," 17 June 2019 Many of the clinics providing those services have reputations for being either dubious or outright fraudulent. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Crowdfunding raises millions for quack cancer remedies, like coffee enemas," 20 Sep. 2018 Here are some of the biggest lingering questions, loose ends, and outright plot holes left at the end of the series. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "13 'Game of Thrones' Questions We Still Have After the Finale," 20 May 2019 Although the clips didn't outright name Ariana, the video did feature what looked to be the singer, and her iconic ponytail. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Has Been Named the Newest Face of Givenchy," 10 May 2019 After three straight winning seasons, three consecutive victories against Navy and two outright Commander in Chief’s trophies, the Black Knights are trying to maintain their status as the nation’s best service academy football team. John Kekis, The Seattle Times, "Army tries to maintain excellence after record-setting 2018," 12 Apr. 2019 This decision could buy EPA some more time to craft a replacement rule, which many lawyers have suggested might be less vulnerable to legal challenge than an outright repeal. Niina Heikkinen, Scientific American, "Court Becoming Impatient with EPA Over Clean Power Plan," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outright.' 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 outright


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for outright

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outright

The first known use of outright was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for outright



English Language Learners Definition of outright

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a full and complete way
: quickly and completely : not gradually
: in one payment of money



English Language Learners Definition of outright (Entry 2 of 2)

: complete and total
: not limited in any way : done, made, or given in a complete way


out·​right | \ au̇t-ˈrīt How to pronounce outright (audio) \

Kids Definition of outright

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : completely They rejected the idea outright.
2 : without holding back He laughed outright at the story.
3 : quickly and entirely Fire destroyed the house outright.


out·​right | \ ˈau̇t-ˌrīt How to pronounce outright (audio) \

Kids Definition of outright (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : complete and total : very clear or obvious an outright lie
2 : done, made, or given with no restrictions or exceptions an outright gift

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More from Merriam-Webster on outright

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outright

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outright

Spanish Central: Translation of outright

Nglish: Translation of outright for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outright for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outright

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