out·​weigh ˌau̇t-ˈwā How to pronounce outweigh (audio)
outweighed; outweighing; outweighs

transitive verb

: to exceed in weight, value, or importance
the advantages outweigh the disadvantages

Example Sentences

She outweighs her sister by 10 pounds. This issue outweighs all others in importance.
Recent Examples on the Web Assistant City Attorney Leslie Fitzgerald said the city’s motives for making an exception either outweigh or have no effect on the motives for the sign ordinance in general, which are community safety and aesthetics. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2023 Oil prices slid Tuesday, erasing gains that followed a Saudi plan to slash output, as fears about weak global demand outweighed expectations of a supply shortfall. Will Horner, WSJ, 6 June 2023 Experts such as Margolies feel that temporary discomfort shouldn’t outweigh finding cancers more readily. Lauren J. Young, Scientific American, 2 June 2023 Enter Email Sign Up Auchincloss and colleagues in both parties were faced with one of the more stark instances of realpolitik, in which the consequences of inaction — both to the nation’s economy and to their own political parties — far outweighed more ordinary matters of principle. Jim Puzzanghera, BostonGlobe.com, 31 May 2023 White House officials say that the benefits from that law far outweigh any new greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of the West Virginia pipeline. Brad Plumer, New York Times, 30 May 2023 Nearly nine out of 10 adults in the US say that the benefits of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines outweigh the risks – a share that’s remained unchanged since before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Deidre Mcphillips, CNN, 16 May 2023 That’s when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that while there is not yet enough supporting evidence to justify full approval of a medical product, there is enough scientific data showing that the benefits of that product far outweigh the risks. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 4 May 2023 While that amount of radiation is not insubstantial, cancer researchers and radiation experts say the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks of being exposed to a low dose of radiation. Isabella Fertel, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outweigh.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of outweigh was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near outweigh

Cite this Entry

“Outweigh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outweigh. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


out·​weigh -ˈwā How to pronounce outweigh (audio)
: to be greater than in weight, value, or importance
the benefits outweigh the disadvantages

More from Merriam-Webster on outweigh

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