- a washing out of earth, gravel, etc., by water, as from an embankment or a roadway by heavy rain or by a flash flood.
- the hole, break, or erosion produced by such a washing out.
- Also wash-out. Aeronautics. a warp in an airfoil that gives a decrease in the angle of attack toward the tip.Compare washin.
- Informal. an utter failure.
- Informal. a person who has failed a course of training or study: air force washouts.
Origin of washout
First recorded in 1870–75; noun use of verb phrase wash out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for washout
Just for an instant the word “washout” flashed through his mind.The Golden Woman
He knew the spring rains with their awesome powers of washout and flood.The Heart of Unaga
Then we fastened a tin bucket to a pole and fished the washout.
When the washout bowl was introduced it was considered perfection.Elements of Plumbing
With one last look at the washout, they turned and began climbing the grade.Secrets of the Andes
James H. Foster
Word Origin and History for washout
"disappointing failure," 1902, from verbal phrase wash out "obliterate, cancel," attested from 1570s, hence colloquial sense of "to call off (an event) due to bad weather, etc."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper