wash·​out | \ ˈwȯsh-ˌau̇t How to pronounce washout (audio) , ˈwäsh- \

Definition of washout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the washing out or away of something and especially of earth in a roadbed by a freshet
b : a place where earth is washed away
2 : one that fails to measure up : failure: such as
a : one who fails in a course of training or study
b : an unsuccessful enterprise or undertaking

wash out

washed out; washing out; washes out

Definition of wash out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to wash free of an extraneous substance (such as dirt)
2a : to cause to fade by or as if by laundering
b : to deplete the strength or vitality of
c : to eliminate as useless or unsatisfactory : reject
3a : to destroy or make useless by the force or action of water the storm washed out the bridge
b : rain out the game was washed out

intransitive verb

1 : to become depleted of color or vitality : fade
2 : to fail to meet requirements or measure up to a standard

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of washout in a Sentence

Noun He was a washout as a professional golfer. The team lost so many games that the season was a total washout. Yesterday's game was a washout. Verb most of the participants in the tough training program washed out the bright lights of the TV studio washed out her facial features, making her look as white as a ghost
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the weekend will not be a washout, there will be a return of rain chances late Saturday especially west of the DFW metro area. Dallas News, 14 May 2021 The report wasn’t a total washout, as private payrolls grew 218,000, mostly from leisure and hospitality jobs (331,000) as the lockdowns continued to ease. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 7 May 2021 The largest washout occurred in 2017, at Mud Creek north of the San Luis Obispo County line. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Apr. 2021 Although the most serious, the washout was not the only one. Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2021 From late Thursday into the weekend may not be a washout, but periodic downpours are probably part of the mix. Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2021 As for 2021, there is cautious optimism that the Cactus League season won’t be a complete washout for the local economy. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 3 Mar. 2021 Our upcoming weekend is going to be a split affair with a beauty of a day on Saturday and a washout of a day by Sunday afternoon. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Mar. 2021 At first, the premise of the show appears to center on Jonah (Ben Feldman), a business-school washout who takes a job at a giant retail store, Cloud 9, presumably a stand-in for Walmart. Kovie Biakolo, Vulture, 24 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In uptrending markets like this one, sentiment gauges rarely wash out. Brett Owens, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Mike Nordean said that his son had floundered since joining the Navy out of high school in hopes of becoming a SEAL, only to wash out of basic training. Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2021 Sinus rinses like neti pots can help wash out mucus, especially when people use hypertonic saline, Dass said. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, 19 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, wash out the large bowl used for the flour and coat with oil. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2021 Some wash out and end up serving significant prison time. Star Tribune, 24 Apr. 2021 This will wash out any pollen or oak floating in the air. Teresa Velasco, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Apr. 2021 In his images, Sicknick can be seen retreating, bending over, and trying to wash out his eyes and face with water. TheWeek, 24 Mar. 2021 Direct, harsh sunshine can raise interior temperatures, fade wood floors, dull cabinet finishes, dry leather, and wash out fabrics. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'washout.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of washout


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1540, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about washout

Time Traveler for washout

Time Traveler

The first known use of washout was in 1540

See more words from the same year

Statistics for washout

Last Updated

23 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Washout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/washout. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for washout



English Language Learners Definition of washout

: a complete failure
: an event, game, etc., that is canceled because of rain


wash·​out | \ ˈwȯsh-ˌau̇t How to pronounce washout (audio) , ˈwäsh- \

Kids Definition of washout

1 : a place where earth has been washed away
2 : a complete failure


wash·​out | \ ˈwȯsh-ˌau̇t, ˈwäsh- How to pronounce washout (audio) \

Medical Definition of washout

: the action or process of progressively reducing the concentration of a substance (as a dye injected into the left ventricle of the heart)

More from Merriam-Webster on washout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for washout

Nglish: Translation of washout for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!