adjective out·stand·ing \ au̇t-ˈstan-diŋ , ˈau̇t-ˌstan- \
|Updated on: 4 Jul 2018

Definition of outstanding

1 : standing out : projecting
  • stood on an outstanding rock
2 a : 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
3 a : 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


play \au̇t-ˈstan-diŋ-lē, ˈau̇t-ˌstan-\ adverb

Examples of outstanding in a Sentence

  1. Tonight we will honor the school's most outstanding students.

  2. You did an outstanding job on the project.

  3. the outstanding quality of your work

  4. a wine that is outstanding in quality

  5. As a president, he was outstanding in many ways.

  6. Her novels are outstanding for their complex characters and interesting plots.

  7. The painting is an outstanding example of the artist's style.

  8. Outstanding among the menu items were the tomato soup and the swordfish.

  9. She had several outstanding parking tickets in her car.

  10. He left a balance of 50 dollars outstanding on his account.

Recent Examples of outstanding from the Web

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.

First Known Use of outstanding


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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outstanding Synonyms

Near Antonyms


Related Words

due, mature;

Synonym Discussion of 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

OUTSTANDING Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of outstanding for English Language Learners

  • : extremely good or excellent

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

  • : not yet paid

OUTSTANDING Defined for Kids


adjective out·stand·ing \ au̇t-ˈstan-diŋ \

Definition of outstanding for Students

1 : standing out especially because of excellence
  • an outstanding musician
  • an outstanding job
2 : unpaid
  • outstanding bills



Law Dictionary


adjective out·stand·ing

legal Definition of outstanding

1 : not paid
  • had several outstanding debts
2 : publicly issued and sold
  • a million shares outstanding

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a downward inclination or slope

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