outdo

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb outdo contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of outdo are exceed, excel, outstrip, surpass, and transcend. While all these words mean "to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree," outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before.

outdid herself this time

When would exceed be a good substitute for outdo?

The words exceed and outdo are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement.

exceed the speed limit

When could excel be used to replace outdo?

In some situations, the words excel and outdo are roughly equivalent. However, excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others.

excels in mathematics

When can outstrip be used instead of outdo?

The meanings of outstrip and outdo largely overlap; however, outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition.

outstripped other firms in sales

When is it sensible to use surpass instead of outdo?

While the synonyms surpass and outdo are close in meaning, surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill.

the book surpassed our expectations

When might transcend be a better fit than outdo?

The synonyms transcend and outdo are sometimes interchangeable, but transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits.

transcended the values of their culture

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Cite this Entry

“Outdo.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/outdo. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

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