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out - definition and synonyms

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adverb, preposition     out pronunciation in British English
Out can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb: We went out into the garden.He took out a penknife.
after the verb ‘to be’: You were out when I called.The house was silent and all the lights were out.
in the preposition phrase out of: I got out of bed and went downstairs. In American English and spoken British English out itself is commonly used as a preposition, but many British people consider that this use is not correct: I looked out the window.
  1. 1
    when you leave a place
    1. a.
      used for saying that someone leaves their home or place of work in order to visit someone, have a meal, buy something etc

      Dr Hammond’s out just now, visiting a patient.

      take someone out:

      Why don’t you take Dad out for a drink?

      be/get out and about (=go to other places and meet people):

      Try to get out and about more – make new friends.

    2. b.
      leaving a room or building

      She went out, slamming the door behind her.

      Frank was just coming out of the library.

      I followed him out of the door and down the stairs.

      ‘Get out!’ she screamed. ‘Get out of my house.’

    3. c.
      away from an area, town, or country

      Follow the main road out of Newport.

      I’ll be out of town for a couple of weeks.

    4. d.
      no longer in prison

      a convicted murderer who will be out again in seven or eight years’ time

  2. 2
    when something is removed from where it was
    1. a.
      from inside a container, hole, or space

      He opened the drawer and took out a large brown envelope.

      Take that chewing gum out of your mouth.

    2. b.
      used for saying that something is removed from a place where it was fixed

      When I opened the book, I saw that several pages had been torn out.

      I had a tooth out this morning.

      You’ll have to take the four screws out, then you can remove the cover.

    3. c.
      used for stating where money is taken from

      One employer had taken £60,000 out of his company’s pension fund.

      out of:

      The money will all come out of my personal bank account.

  3. 3
    1. a.
      not inside a building

      Is it cold out?

      The children are out in the garden.

      out there:

      I was standing out there in the rain.

    2. b.
      from inside a building or vehicle towards something outside

      I stood by the window, staring out into the darkness.

      He stopped the car, leaned out, and called to me.

  4. 4
    far away
    1. a.
      used for saying that someone or something is in another place far away

      Her son’s gone out to Australia.

      way out:

      They live way out in the countryside.

      out there:

      I wonder if there’s life out there on another planet somewhere.

    2. b.
      used for saying how far away from a place something is

      The East Midlands airport is just four miles out of Nottingham.

    3. c.
      used for saying how far away from the coast a boat is

      a yacht drifting helplessly 200 miles out in the Atlantic

  5. 5
    when someone/something is removed
    1. a.
      used for saying that a mark is removed from the surface of something

      Notes in pencil had been rubbed out.

      Ink stains will come out if you rub them with vinegar and salt.

    2. b.
      used for saying that something that you do not want is got rid of

      Have you thrown out yesterday’s paper?

      We need to root out racism in the police and army.

    3. c.
      used for saying that someone is forced to leave a group, organization, or job

      Frederick was kicked out of the army in 1998.

      The union threw out 26 members who refused to join the strike.

  6. 6
    used for saying that a new product, book, record etc is available for people to buy

    It was back in November when the album came out.

    In his latest book, out today, he tells of his experiences in the civil war.

  7. 7
    used for saying that someone is unconscious or is made unconscious

    Arthur had hit his head on a beam and knocked himself out.

    I must have been out for five minutes before I recovered consciousness.

  8. 8
    used for saying that something is no longer fashionable

    This year pink is definitely out.

    Nylon shirts went out years ago.

  9. 9
    with none of something left
    out of:

    We’re out of toilet paper.

    run out of something (=use all of something so that there is none left):

    a motorist who had run out of petrol

    I’m running out of ideas – can you suggest anything?

  10. 10
    able to be seen
    1. a.
      if the sun or moon is out, it is not behind clouds

      The rain stopped and the sun came out.

    2. b.
      if flowers are out, they have opened

      on a spring evening when the tulips are out

      Synonyms and related words
  11. 11
    used for saying that workers are on strike (=have stopped work in order to protest)

    Members of the Engineering Union came out in support of the miners.

    Workers at the Solihull factory are still out.

  12. 12
    used for saying that someone is not allowed to continue taking part in a competition or series of games, especially because they have been defeated

    If we don’t win today, we’ll be out of the championships.

  13. 13
    not burning, or not shining
    1. a.
      no longer burning

      No wonder it’s cold in here – you’ve let the fire go out.

    2. b.
      used for saying that lights have been switched off

      The children were in bed and the lights were out.

  14. 15
    used for saying that a book, DVD etc is not in a library because someone has borrowed it

    We do have the book you asked for, but it’s out at the moment.

  15. 16
    informal if a particular idea, suggestion, or activity is out, it is not possible or it cannot be accepted

    I’ve hurt my back, so gardening is out as far as I’m concerned.

    Anything that costs more than £3,000 is out.

  16. 17
    used for saying that a sound or voice is loud and clear

    Church bells rang out across the land.

    Someone called out to me from an upstairs window.

    out loud:

    Don’t whisper, say it out loud so we can all hear.

  17. 18
    British used for saying that a number, calculation, or measurement is not correct

    Their calculations were out by about two million pounds.

    not far out (=almost correct):

    Paul reckoned we’d need 12 gallons of paint, and he wasn’t far out.

  18. 19
    if the tide is out, the sea is at a lower level

    Now that the tide was out, we could walk across the sands.

  19. 20
    if information is out, it becomes publicly known

    At last her secret was out and, of course, there would be a scandal.

    The exam results aren’t out yet.

    So the news has leaked out already, has it?

  20. 21
    used for saying that you give or send things to a number of different people

    The money will be shared out between 22 different charities.

    Have you sent out the invitations yet?

  21. 22
    if a player or team is out during a game of cricket or baseball, they are no longer batting

    The West Indies Team were all out before lunch.

  22. 23
    used for saying that the bones in your back have moved and it is very painful

    Dad threw his back out moving the sofa.

  23. 25
    used for saying that someone is no longer in a bad situation
    out of trouble/danger/mischief etc:

    Parents will be relieved that their children are out of danger.

    Stacey will be allowed to go free on condition that he stays out of trouble for a year.

    be out of it:

    Everyone was fighting everyone else – I’m glad to be out of it.

    a way out (=a way of escaping from a bad situation):

    We are facing a major crisis and there is no easy way out.

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