or drop-out

[ drop-out ]
See synonyms for dropout on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act or instance of dropping out.

  2. a student who withdraws before completing a course of instruction.

  1. a student who withdraws from high school after having reached the legal age to do so.

  2. a person who withdraws from established society, especially to pursue an alternate lifestyle.

  3. a person who withdraws from a competition, job, task, etc.: the first dropout from the presidential race.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dropout in a sentence

  • Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"

    Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
  • At every halt which this groping search necessitated, scores of tired men would fall asleep and drop out of their saddles.

  • When, with returning fair weather, the atmospheric pressure increases, the water can no longer bulge or drop out of the bulb.

  • My drop-out would be made to look as if I had jumped the job, and Dunton would appoint a new man.

    The Wreckers | Francis Lynde
  • "I wish we could drop out—and land up on the mountain outside," returned his youngest brother.

    The Rover Boys on the Farm | Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)

British Dictionary definitions for dropout


/ (ˈdrɒpˌaʊt) /

  1. a student who fails to complete a school or college course

  2. a person who rejects conventional society

  1. drop-out rugby a drop kick taken by the defending team to restart play, as after a touchdown

  2. drop-out electronics a momentary loss of signal in a magnetic recording medium as a result of an imperfection in its magnetic coating

verbdrop out (intr, adverb often foll by of)
  1. 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with dropout


Withdraw from participation in a group such as a school, club, or game; also, withdraw from society owing to disillusionment. For example, He couldn't afford the membership dues and had to drop out, or She planned to drop out from college for a year. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.