out·​stand·​ing | \au̇t-ˈstan-diŋ, ˈau̇t-ˌstan-\

Definition of outstanding 

1 : standing out : projecting stood on an outstanding rock

2a : unpaid left several bills outstanding

b : continuing to exist : unresolved a long outstanding problem in astronomy was arrested on … an outstanding warrant on a domestic violence charge— Kathy Hogan

c of securities : publicly issued and sold has 20,000 shares outstanding

3a : standing out from a group : conspicuous There are some outstanding exceptions to this rule.

b : marked by eminence and distinction an outstanding student an outstanding achievement

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Other Words from outstanding

outstandingly \ au̇t-​ˈstan-​diŋ-​lē , ˈau̇t-​ˌstan-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for outstanding


overdue, owed, owing, payable, unpaid, unsettled


cleared, liquidated, paid (off or up), repaid, settled

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Choose the Right Synonym for outstanding

noticeable, remarkable, prominent, outstanding, conspicuous, salient, striking mean attracting notice or attention. noticeable applies to something unlikely to escape observation. a piano recital with no noticeable errors remarkable applies to something so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment. a film of remarkable intelligence and wit prominent applies to something commanding notice by standing out from its surroundings or background. a doctor who occupies a prominent position in the town outstanding applies to something that rises above and excels others of the same kind. honored for her outstanding contributions to science conspicuous applies to something that is obvious and unavoidable to the sight or mind. conspicuous bureaucratic waste salient applies to something of significance that merits the attention given it. the salient points of the speech striking applies to something that impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer's mind or vision. the region's striking poverty

Examples of outstanding in a Sentence

Tonight we will honor the school's most outstanding students. You did an outstanding job on the project. the outstanding quality of your work a wine that is outstanding in quality As a president, he was outstanding in many ways. Her novels are outstanding for their complex characters and interesting plots. The painting is an outstanding example of the artist's style. Outstanding among the menu items were the tomato soup and the swordfish. She had several outstanding parking tickets in her car. He left a balance of 50 dollars outstanding on his account.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In fall, the numbers of pelicans, Heermann’s gulls and elegant terns can be outstanding. Jill K. Robinson, SFChronicle.com, "5 places to spot birds in Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 When called upon, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was outstanding. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 Danijel Subasic has been outstanding in goal, especially in the two shootouts. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "How England and Croatia match up in the World Cup semifinal," 10 July 2018 The defense will be outstanding and will make life miserable for opposing offenses. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football or Michigan State, who is better? It's an easy call," 10 July 2018 And the initial list of 20 that the president put together with his team and with the advisors was outstanding. Fox News, "Senate fight awaits Trump's Supreme Court pick," 10 July 2018 Additional suspects may still be outstanding and the investigation is ongoing, police said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Police identify Phoenix shooting suspect, victim," 27 June 2018 The outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or a movie category additionally brought attention to actors of color. Anita Bennett, Fortune, "Diversity Takes Center Stage at 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 Some people’s less-than-perfect work is still outstanding, and all three Sketch pieces showcased inventive artists with focused vision and the skill to build cohesive structure around the chaos of experimentation. Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outstanding

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outstanding

The first known use of outstanding was in 1611

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More Definitions for outstanding



English Language Learners Definition of outstanding

: extremely good or excellent

: easy to notice especially because of being important or very good

: not yet paid


out·​stand·​ing | \au̇t-ˈstan-diŋ \

Kids Definition of outstanding

1 : standing out especially because of excellence an outstanding musician an outstanding job

2 : unpaid outstanding bills

Other Words from outstanding

outstandingly adverb



Legal Definition of outstanding 

1 : not paid had several outstanding debts

2 : publicly issued and sold a million shares outstanding

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