break out - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [intransitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theybreak out
he/she/itbreaks out
present participlebreaking out
past tensebroke out
past participlebroken out
  1. 1
    if something bad such as a war or disease breaks out, it starts

    We got married a month before the war broke out.

    The fire must have broken out during the night.

  2. 2
    to escape from a prison
    break out of:

    Six prisoners have broken out of a top-security jail in Yorkshire.

  3. 3
    to escape from something such as a situation or way of life
    break out of:

    the desire to break out of the boring routine of normal daily living

  4. 4
    if something such as spots break out, or if you break out in spots, spots start to appear on your skin

    Sweat was beginning to break out on his forehead.

    break out in:

    The skin on my arms was breaking out in a rash.

See also main entry: break