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 Each patient was given a single injection of recombinant factor VIII, followed by a washout period of at least 3 days before an injection of the fusion protein BIVV001. Rebekah Tuchscherer, Science | AAAS, "New fusion protein treatment holds promise for people with ‘royal’ clotting disorder," 9 Sep. 2020 Part of that washout included the rude return of Mike Conley, who marked the arrival of a newborn son earlier this week and followed it with the brutal clubbing of the poor, poor, pitiful Nuggets. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: The Utah Jazz are killing the Denver Nuggets, and the Nuggets know it," 22 Aug. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the afternoon waned, the rain that had threatened to wash out the flights all afternoon receded as the afternoon air began to cool. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, "Pilots flock to Grider Field to sharpen formation flying," 10 Oct. 2020 The vast majority sink or wash out to sea, so the actual toll is probably much higher. Matt Simon, Wired, "Want to Save the Whales? Eavesdrop on Their Calls," 17 Sep. 2020 After the leak, fans flooded the trending topic on Twitter with images and messages supporting Evans in order to wash out the NSFW photo. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Chris Evans Says Leaked Private Photo Is 'Embarrassing' But Thanks 'Fantastic Fans' for Support," 15 Sep. 2020 To ensure the brightness of the TV doesn’t wash out the picture or swallow up any darker colors, TCL is adding in Contrast Control Zones, which utilize LEDs to increase how brights and darks work together. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "TCL is going all in on QLED for its 2020 5- and 6-Series TVs," 11 Aug. 2020 But, at least through Friday, the chance of showers and storms is around 60 percent, perhaps dropping to 40 to 50 percent over the weekend as the front starts to wash out a bit. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A steamy week, with the chance of rain ramping up starting late Wednesday," 10 Aug. 2020 Reduced emissions of this pollutant were primarily due to slowed industrial activity; the changes were also rapid, as aerosols wash out of the atmosphere fairly quickly. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "COVID-19 won’t impact climate much, but economic recovery could," 8 Aug. 2020 At first, local officials hoped that the storm named Hanna would wash out family gatherings and bar crawls, slowing the spread. Paul J. Weber, Star Tribune, "'We are no less American': Deaths pile up on Texas border," 4 Aug. 2020 Cut celery in half lengthwise, leaving the root end intact, then wash out any grit. Carla Hall, Redbook, "3 Things You Can Do With Your New Favorite Vegetable, Celery," 2 June 2017

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

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Washout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/washout. Accessed 24 Oct. 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on washout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for washout

Nglish: Translation of washout for Spanish Speakers

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