[ out-uhv-boundz ]
See synonyms for out-of-bounds on Thesaurus.com
  1. Sports. being beyond or passing the limits or boundaries of a field, course, etc., marking the area within which the ball, puck, or the like is legally in play.

  2. beyond any established boundaries or prescribed limits; forbidden; prohibited.

  1. further than or beyond established limits, as of behavior or thought.

Origin of out-of-bounds

First recorded in 1855–60

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

How to use out-of-bounds in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for out of bounds

out of bounds

adjective, adverb(postpositive)
  1. (often foll by to) not to be entered (by); barred (to): out of bounds to civilians

  2. outside specified or prescribed limits

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 out-of-bounds


Beyond established limits, breaking the rules, unreasonable. For example, Calling the teacher a liar—that's out of bounds. This expression alludes to the boundaries of the playing area in numerous sports and to the rules applying to them. Its figurative use dates from the 1940s. [Early 1800s] Also see within bounds.

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