1. In a direction away from the inside: went out to hail a taxi.
2. Away from the center or middle: The troops fanned out.
a. Away from a usual place: stepped out for a drink of water; went out for the evening.
b. Out of normal position: threw his back out.
a. From inside a building or shelter into the open air; outside: The boy went out to play.
b. In the open air; outside: Is it snowing out?
a. From within a container or source: drained the water out.
b. From among others: picked out the thief in the crowd.
a. To exhaustion or depletion: The supplies have run out.
b. Into extinction or imperceptibility: The fire has gone out.
c. To a finish or conclusion: Play the game out.
d. To the fullest extent or degree; thoroughly: all decked out for the dance; painted out the wall.
e. In or into competition or directed effort: went out for the basketball team; was out to win.
7. In or into a state of unconsciousness: The drug put him out for two hours.
a. Into being or evident existence: The new car models have come out.
b. Into public circulation: The paper came out early today.
9. Into view: The moon came out.
10. Without inhibition; boldly: Speak out.
11. Into possession of another or others; into distribution: giving out free passes.
a. Into disuse or an unfashionable status: Narrow ties have gone out.
b. Into a state of deprivation or loss: voted the incompetent governor out.
13. In the time following; afterward: "to gauge economic conditions six months out" (Christian Science Monitor).
14. Abbr. O Baseball So as to be retired, or counted as an out: He grounded out to the shortstop.
15. On strike: The auto workers went out when management refused to reduce outsourcing.
1. Exterior; external: the out surface of a ship's hull.
2. Directed away from a place or center; outgoing: the out doorway.
3. Traveling or landing out-of-bounds.
a. Not operating or operational: The power has been out for a week.
b. Extinguished: The lights were out next door.
5. Unconscious: was out for an hour during surgery.
6. Not to be considered or permitted: A taxi is out, because we don't have enough money. From now on, eating candy before dinner is out.
7. No longer fashionable.
8. No longer possessing or supplied with something: I can't offer you coffee because we're out.
9. Informal Openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual: an out performer.
10. Baseball Not allowed to continue to bat or run; retired.
1. Forth from; through: He fell out the window.
2. Beyond or outside of: Out this door is the garage.
3. Within the area of: The house has a garden out back.
1. One that is out, especially one who is out of power.
2. Informal A means of escape: The window was my only out.
a. A play in which a batter or base runner is retired.
b. The player retired in such a play.
4. Sports A serve or return that falls out of bounds in a court game.
5. Printing A word or other part of a manuscript omitted from the printed copy.
v. out·ed, out·ing, outs
To be disclosed or revealed; come out: Truth will out.
1. Sports To send (a tennis ball, for example) outside the court or playing area.
a. To expose (someone considered to be heterosexual) as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
b. To expose (someone) as doing something secret or immoral: outed the shopkeeper as a spy; outed his classmate as a cheater.
3. Chiefly British To knock unconscious.
Used in two-way radio to indicate that a transmission is complete and no reply is expected.
on the outs Informal
Not on friendly terms; disagreeing.
[Middle English, from Old English ūt; see ud- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.