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or drop-out

[drop-out] /ˈdrɒpˌaʊt/
an act or instance of dropping out.
a student who withdraws before completing a course of instruction.
a student who withdraws from high school after having reached the legal age to do so.
a person who withdraws from established society, especially to pursue an alternate lifestyle.
a person who withdraws from a competition, job, task, etc.:
the first dropout from the presidential race.
Rugby. a drop kick made by a defending team from within its own 25-yard (23-meter) line as a result of a touchdown or of the ball's having touched or gone outside of a touch-in-goal line or the dead-ball line.
Also called highlight halftone. a halftone negative or plate in which dots have been eliminated from highlights by continued etching, burning in, opaquing, or the like.
Also called dropout error. the loss of portions of the information on a recorded magnetic tape due to contamination of the magnetic medium or poor contact with the tape heads.
Origin of dropout
1925-30, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase drop out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for drop-outs
Historical Examples
  • It follows, then, that the older ages have the higher percentages of drop-outs when this basis of the computation is employed.

    The High School Failures Francis P. Obrien
  • The number of drop-outs does not tend to increase as the number of failures per pupil increases.

    The High School Failures Francis P. Obrien
  • There is no special accumulation of drop-outs for either the earlier or the later ages.

    The High School Failures Francis P. Obrien
British Dictionary definitions for drop-outs


a student who fails to complete a school or college course
a person who rejects conventional society
(rugby) drop-out. a drop kick taken by the defending team to restart play, as after a touchdown
(electronics) drop-out. a momentary loss of signal in a magnetic recording medium as a result of an imperfection in its magnetic coating
verb (intransitive, adverb) often foll by of
to abandon or withdraw from (a school, social group, job, etc)
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 drop-outs



"one who 'drops out' of something," 1930, from drop (v.) + out (adv.). As a phrase, drop out "withdraw" is recorded from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for drop-outs



A person who withdraws; voluntary self-excluder, esp from school or college (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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drop-outs in Technology

1. A variety of "power glitch" (see glitch); momentary zero voltage on the electrical mains.
2. Missing characters in typed input due to software malfunction or system overload (one cause of such behaviour under Unix when a bad connection to a modem swamps the processor with spurious character interrupts; see screaming tty).
3. Mental glitches; used as a way of describing those occasions when the mind just seems to shut down for a couple of beats. See glitch, fried.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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