an escape, often with the use of force, as from a prison or mental institution.
an appearance or manifestation, as of a disease, that is sudden and often widespread; outbreak.
an itemization; breakdown: a hotel bill with a breakout of each service offered.
an instance of surpassing any previous achievement: a breakout in gold prices.
the act or process of removing and disassembling equipment that has been used in drilling a well.


of or constituting a sudden increase, advance, or unexpected success: The director has finally scored with a breakout movie.

Origin of breakout

First recorded in 1810–20; noun use of verb phrase break out Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for breakout

flight, getaway, escapement, jailbreak

Examples from the Web for breakout

Contemporary Examples of breakout

Historical Examples of breakout

  • It is that Talents, Incorporated may be wrong about the time of breakout.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • It gave an exact time for the breakout of the Mekinese fleet.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • When the squad ship came out of overdrive and he was awakened by the unpleasantness of breakout, he yawned.

    A Matter of Importance

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • It would have assembled itself at that breakout point, but it would still arrive in a disorderly mob.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • He sketched out in his own mind a course of action that would be possible to follow after breakout off Mekin.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

Word Origin and History for breakout

1820, from break (v.) + out (adv.). The verbal phrase goes back to Old English ut brecan, utabrecan. Transitive sense is attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper