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

Republicans have increasingly attempted to use accusations of antisemitism and anti-Americanism, support for open borders and other complaints against Democrats, despite having little or no outright evidence to bolster many of their claims. Niraj Warikoo And Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Minorities and Republicans criticize Donald Trump for attacks on House Reps.," 15 July 2019 Public health policy has long failed to meet LGBT people’s healthcare needs—whether due to lack of access or outright discrimination. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Social health disparities may put LGBT individuals at a higher risk for dementia," 15 July 2019 In last week's episode, her interactions with June deteriorated from prickly verbal sparring to outright physical violence following the revelation that Ofmatthew was responsible for the hanging of Frances, the Martha taking care of Hannah. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ashleigh LaThrop on That Shocking Ofmatthew Twist in The Handmaid's Tale Episode 8," 12 July 2019 To pay for a macchiato without using WeChat is to face a barista’s exasperation with paper currency, or, at trendier coffee shops in Beijing and Shanghai, outright rejection. The Economist, "China’s Silicon Valley is transforming China, but not yet the world," 11 July 2019 Pellegrini's side is running out of striking options after both Lucas Perez and Andy Caroll departed the club earlier this summer, leaving Javier Hernandez as the only outright option to lead the line at the London Stadium. SI.com, "West Ham 'Offered' the Chance to Sign Free Agent Mario Balotelli as Alternative Option to Maxi Gomez," 9 July 2019 The Astros had seven days to either trade Reed or pass him through outright waivers. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Former top prospect AJ Reed's Astros tenure ends," 8 July 2019 Forward Josh Richardson remains the component of the Butler trade going from the Heat to the 76ers, who had to facilitate the deal with the Heat operating above the salary cap and lacking the cap space to outright sign Butler. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat complete Jimmy Butler acquisition, retaining Dragic, Olynyk, Jones," 2 July 2019 As Deadline reported on Thursday, the series currently only exists as a pilot order, meaning that the wheels have begun turning to produce and cast a single, premiere episode, as opposed to an outright guarantee of a season's worth of episodes. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "id Software’s origin story set to become USA Network TV series," 27 June 2019

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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to complain fretfully

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