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Definition of “out” - English Dictionary

"out" in American English

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outpreposition, adverb [not gradable]

us   /ɑʊt/
from within to a place or position that is not inside a building or not enclosed or contained: I’m going out for a walk. He leaned out the window and waved. Our office looks out on a public park.
away or absent from your home or place of work: I’ll be out tomorrow. Leo went out to lunch . We often eat out (= at restaurants). Bill asked me out (= to go somewhere enjoyable together).
If something is out, it is not where it is usually kept or belongs: I checked at the library and that book is out.
away from a place or starting point, or far away: They moved out to the country. Have you sent out the invitations yet?

outadverb [not gradable]

us   /ɑʊt/
in the area beyond a building or room, or outdoors (= not in a building): It’s cold out today. They camped out. Keep out (= Do not enter).
to the point where something is removed or disappears: The stain on my tie won’t come out. Cross out the second number.
completely, or as much as possible: She stretched out on the bed. We were tired out.
aloud, so other people can hear: Her mother called out to us.

outadjective, adverb [not gradable]

us   /ɑʊt/
(esp. of a book, movie, or recording) available to the public: Is his new novel out yet?
made known to the public: The secret’s out about her retirement.
able to be seen: It stopped raining and the sun came out.
no longer operating or working: The electricity went out during the storm.
If something that burns is out, it is no longer burning: Be sure the fire is out.
unconscious, sleeping, or not aware: He passed out (= became unconscious). Matt was so tired, he’s out cold (= in a deep sleep).
(coming) into a condition in which something has been used and no more of it is left: Our money ran out. His luck was running out. Renew your membership before the month is out.
infml not fashionable or popular: Long hair is out.

outadjective [not gradable]

us   /ɑʊt/
not acceptable, not possible, or not allowed: Thursday is out so let’s meet Friday.
infml intending to do or get something: He’s just out for a good time. The mayor is out to get some publicity.
failing or having failed to reach a base: He was out on a close play at second base.


us   /ɑʊt/
  • out noun (EXCUSE)

[C usually sing] infml an excuse or reason for avoiding an unpleasant situation: The kids need to get home, so we have an out if we need it.
(Definition of out from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"out" in British English

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outadverb, preposition

uk   /aʊt/ us   /aʊt/
  • out adverb, preposition (AWAY FROM INSIDE)

B1 used to show movement away from the inside of a place or container: She opened the window and stuck her head out. The bag broke and the apples fell out. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. He leaned out the window. He opened the drawer and took out a pair of socks. Get out! Out you go! (= Go out!) My secretary will see you out (= go with you to the door). Turn the trousers inside out (= put the inside on the outside).

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  • out adverb, preposition (OUTSIDE)

outside a building or room: If you wait out here, we will call you when the doctor is ready. Danger! Keep out! (= Do not enter!) It's bitterly cold out, today.

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  • out adverb, preposition (ABSENT)

A2 absent for a short time from the place where you live or work: I came around to see you this morning, but you were out. Someone called while you were out.
A2 used to refer to a period of time when someone goes away from home for a social activity: I can't go out tonight - I have work to do. Do you want to eat out (= eat in a restaurant) tonight? He asked me out (= asked me to go with him) to the cinema next week.
used to refer to a time when someone is away from the main office in order to do a particular job: The thieves were spotted by a postman out on his rounds (= as he was delivering the post). The police were out in force (= there were a lot of police) at the demonstration.
In a library, if a book is out, it has been borrowed by someone: Both copies of "Wuthering Heights" were out.

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  • out adverb, preposition (DISAPPEAR)

B1 to the point where something is removed or disappears: The stain won't come out. Cross out any words that are not on the list. Never use water to put out fires in electrical equipment. Our time/money/patience ran out.
out of
B2 used to say that no more of something is available: We're nearly out of petrol. I'm running out of patience/time/money.
See also

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  • out adverb, preposition (DEFEATED)

(in sport) no longer able to play because your turn is over: Two of the best players on the team were out after ten minutes. New Zealand were all out for 246 (= the team finished with a score of 246).
(in politics) no longer able to govern because you have lost an election: The Social Democrats were voted out after 15 years in power.

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  • out adverb, preposition (MOVE AWAY)

spreading out from a central point over a wider area: The police search party spread out across the fields.

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  • out adverb, preposition (AVAILABLE)

B1 When a book, magazine, film, or musical recording is out, it is available to the public: Is her new book out yet? The new movie comes out in August.

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  • out adverb, preposition (APPEAR)

B1 able to be seen: The stars are out tonight. The rain stopped and the sun came out (= appeared). In spring all the flowers came out (= their petals opened).

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  • out adverb, preposition (VERY)

used to make the meaning of a word stronger: We walked all day and were tired out (= very tired) by the time we got home. It's up to you to sort this out (= deal with it completely).

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  • out adverb, preposition (LOUD)

used with verbs describing sounds to emphasize the loudness of the sound: He cried out in pain as he hit his head. Charlie Chaplin films always make me laugh out loud.

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  • out adverb, preposition (FAR AWAY)

C2 a long distance away from land, a town, or your own country: The fishing boats were out at sea for three days. They live out in the country, miles from anywhere. He lived out in Zambia for seven years.mainly US The weather's better out west (= a long distance away in the west of the country).

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  • out adverb, preposition (LIGHT/FIRE)

B2 If a light or fire is out, it is no longer shining or burning: When we got home, all the lights were out. Is that fire completely out?
  • out adverb, preposition (COAST)

away from the coast or beach: Is the tide coming in or going out? You can only see the beach when the tide is out.

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  • out adverb, preposition (MADE PUBLIC)

(of information) no longer kept secret: You can't hide your gambling any longer - the secret's out.
If a gay person comes out, they tell people that they are gay, and do not keep it a secret: She came out three years ago. He hasn't come out to his family yet.

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  • out adverb, preposition (SPORT)

(of a ball in a sport such as tennis) landing outside one of the lines that mark the area where the game is played: He thought the ball had bounced on the line, but the umpire said it was out.

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  • out adverb, preposition (UNCONSCIOUS)

unconscious or sleeping: He passes out (= loses consciousness) at the sight of blood. I was hit on the head, and I must have been out cold (= completely unconscious) for about ten minutes.

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  • out adverb, preposition (FINISHED)

used to show that a period of time is finished: I think I can finish this project before the month's out.
  • out adverb, preposition (INTEND)

out for sth/to do sth informal
doing something, or intending to do something, for an unpleasant reason or only because it is good for you and not others: She doesn't usually help the charity - she's only out for the publicity. [+ to infinitive] He's always been out to cause trouble between us.
See also

outverb [T often passive]

uk   /aʊt/ us   /aʊt/
to publish the fact that a famous person is gay, especially when that person does not want it to be known: Hardly a week went by without someone famous being outed.


uk   /aʊt/ us   /aʊt/


uk   /aʊt-/ us   /aʊt-/
(Definition of out from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"out" in Business English

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uk   /aʊt/ us  
WORKPLACE away from the main office, etc. in order to do a particular job: She is out on a service call, but will be back in about an hour.
WORKPLACE absent from the place where you work: He is out of the office right now. I will be out for the rest of the morning. He has been out sick all week.
available for the public to buy: A new version of this phone has just come out.
not working: The power has been out for two hours.
not accurate: Our estimates were only out by a few dollars. Those sales figures were way out.
also out on strike HR, WORKPLACE taking part in a strike (= refusing to work): The assembly workers have been out for a month. Union members voted unanimously to go out on strike.
out of action
not able to be used: The elevators were out of action and we had to walk up to his office.
out of sth
if you are out of something, you do not have it: We're completely out of toner for the printer.
from a particular group: Four out of five broadband users don't know how fast their connections are.
out of the box
if something can be used out of the box, it can be used immediately, without a lot of effort being needed to prepare it: These solutions work straight out of the box. an out-of-the-box training program
(Definition of out from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“out” in Business English

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