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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Confidence: Medium Showers and thunderstorms are possible Sunday, most numerous in the afternoon and evening, but a washout is not expected. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Spotty showers today, but otherwise nice weather through Friday; steamy this weekend," 25 June 2020 Thunderstorms will impact portions of North and East Texas this morning, but a complete washout is not expected today. Dallas News, "Morning storms, then hot and humid," 21 June 2020 Subtropical storm Alberto, May 2018: The Memorial Day weekend along the Gulf Coast became a washout after Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall during the holiday weekend. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Tropical storm that may form would join storms that developed before hurricane season starts," 14 May 2020 This particular corner of South Dallas is awash in such regrets and washouts. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Here’s how a good project, and your money, crashed and burned in a South Dallas landmark," 28 Feb. 2020 The April-June period, traditionally one of the stronger quarters for Indian airlines, is increasingly looking like a washout. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Coronavirus crisis triggers layoffs, pay cuts, and hiring freeze across Indian industries," 16 Apr. 2020 This will not be a washout as several dry hours are also expected. Dallas News, "Turning cooler in the wake of a strong cold front today," 17 Apr. 2020 Power forward 2019-20: Blake Griffin's season was a washout. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' 2020-21 roster outlook: Who's staying and who's gone," 5 Apr. 2020 The area is muddy with lots of washouts, and Werst’s SUV slid off the road into the mud. oregonlive, "Man spent hours alone in Tillamook wilderness after vehicle got stuck," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Water pressure makes all the difference between an enjoyable shower experience and one that takes about ten extra minutes to wash out your shampoo. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "This Self-Cleaning Shower Head Fixed My Low Water Pressure In Seconds," 12 June 2020 Rain washed out the Cup Series race Wednesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but NASCAR will be back Thursday night. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "NASCAR on TV tonight: How to watch rain-delayed Alsco Uniforms 500 (5/28/20), live stream, time," 28 May 2020 The image typically washes out too brightly to see anything. Popular Science, "The OnePlus 8 Pro smartphone’s infrared camera is accidentally creepy," 16 May 2020 Last year, beaches and docks disappeared, roads and bike paths washed out, and at least one cottage collapsed into the water around the Great Lakes. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Lake Erie breaks April high water record, 9 inches higher than last year," 5 May 2020 The storm not only washes out the game against the St. Louis Cardinals, but also a top-flight pitching matchup — Don Drysdale vs. Bob Gibson. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, "This day in sports: Rosie Ruiz tries to pull a ‘fast one’ in Boston Marathon," 21 Apr. 2020 Hair Paint Wax washes out so Dream’s highlights will only last until her next bath. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Blac Chyna Temporarily Dyes Daughter Dream's Hair Blue So She Can Have 'Colored Hair Like Mommy'," 10 Apr. 2020 In Pendleton, floodwaters washed out a bridge Thursday, and the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Umatilla River. oregonlive, "Oregon woman is among coronavirus victims on quarantined cruise ship: Morning Briefing for Friday, Feb. 7," 7 Feb. 2020 The flooding submerged houses, washed out roads, and threatened a Superfund site, and Whitmer expressed hope Thursday that the president will soon sign a federal emergency declaration. Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Pandemic politics: Maskless Trump visits Michigan Ford plant," 21 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of washout


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1540, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for washout

Time Traveler

The first known use of washout was in 1540

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Statistics for washout

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Washout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/washout. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for washout


How to pronounce wash out (audio)

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on washout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for washout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with washout

Spanish Central: Translation of washout

Nglish: Translation of washout for Spanish Speakers

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