View synonyms for outbreak


[ out-breyk ]


  1. a sudden breaking break out or occurrence, especially of something bad or unpleasant; eruption:

    the outbreak of war.

  2. a sudden and active manifestation:

    an outbreak of hives.

  3. a sudden increase in the incidence of a disease or medical condition in a particular place or population: a worldwide polio outbreak in the early 1900s.

    a serious outbreak of malaria in northern Uganda;

    a worldwide polio outbreak in the early 1900s.

  4. an outburst:

    an outbreak of temper.

  5. an insurrection, revolt, or mutiny.
  6. a public disturbance; riot.


/ ˈaʊtˌbreɪk /


  1. a sudden, violent, or spontaneous occurrence, esp of disease or strife

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Word History and Origins

Origin of outbreak1

First recorded in 1595–1605; out- + break

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Example Sentences

In recent decades, more outbreaks have been caused by vaccine strains than by wild virus.

The coronavirus outbreak ranks second, at 20 percent, and those voters break 88 percent to 8 percent for Biden.

The outbreak, which began in a single housing unit, nearly tripled from 44 active cases two weeks ago to 160 earlier this week.

Kloecker said Germany informed China overnight of the outbreak, but declined to comment further.

From Fortune

The growing outbreak at the university comes as case numbers across Georgia continue to fall.

From Fortune

Shortly after dawn, there was another outbreak of deadly force.

But with the outbreak of hostilities in mid-2011, all festivities were thrust into the deep freeze.

“We know the outbreak is still flaming strongly in western Sierra Leone and some parts of the interior of Guinea,” said Nabarro.

It was a traditional burial—the kind that the government is now battling—that led to the first outbreak.

An outbreak in Madagascar, where the disease is endemic, already has involved more than 100 people and killed almost half.

He joined the army at the outbreak of the revolution, and continued in it until it was disbanded.

It happened that an unusually large crop had been planted and was approaching maturity at the moment of the outbreak of the war.

The rebel general opportunely arrived in Singapore at or about the time of the outbreak of American-Spanish hostilities.

With the end of the moratorium on November 4, it may be said that the crisis produced by the outbreak of war was over.

Since the outbreak of the war New York has assumed a position of leadership in international banking.