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[bout] /baʊt/
a contest or trial of strength, as of boxing.
period; session; spell:
a bout of illness.
a turn at work or any action.
a going and returning across a field, as in mowing or reaping.
Origin of bout
1535-45; variant of obsolete bought bend, turn, derivative of bow bow1; see bight
1. match, fray, encounter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "We'll talk 'bout that some other time," said Mr. Winship soothingly.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • "Don't you nevah go to worryin' 'bout what you heahs," continued the woman.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • I hadn't heard nothin' 'bout it and nobody else had till he began to talk.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Caught him in a clearin' 'bout two miles back o' the Holler.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Sometimes I hev worried 'bout Bill, but I don't worry 'bout him no more.

British Dictionary definitions for bout


  1. a period of time spent doing something, such as drinking
  2. a period of illness
a contest or fight, esp a boxing or wrestling match
Word Origin
C16: variant of obsolete bought turn; related to German Buchtbight; see about
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bout

1540s, from Middle English bught, probably from an unrecorded Old English variant of byht "a bend," from Proto-Germanic *bukhta- (see bight (n.)). Sense evolved from "a circuit of any kind" (as of a plow) to "a round at any kind of exercise" (1570s), "a round at fighting" (1590s), "a fit of drinking" (1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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