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break out

1. verb Literally, to escape from a place or thing (often prison). The criminal broke out of prison but was captured less than a mile away.
2. verb By extension, to move away or separate from someone or something. I'm starting to break out from the religious tradition I was raised in.
3. verb To suddenly experience skin irritation, typically pimples or hives. I'm sorry I'm late—I'm breaking out right now, so I had to spend extra time concealing all of my zits! I can't believe I'm breaking out the day before my wedding!
4. verb To suddenly perform a particular action. My mother seemed fine this morning, but she did break out crying at the funeral.
5. verb To occur unexpectedly and intensely. We knew it was time to leave the club when a fight broke out between guys at the bar. We were enjoying a nice walk when a storm broke out and forced us to run back home.
6. verb, slang To leave a particular place. We knew it was time to break out when some guys at the bar started fighting.
7. verb To present something for use, especially something that had been stored out of sight or concealed. Break out the champagne—we've got an engagement to celebrate! I dove under the counter when the robber broke out a gun.
8. verb To highlight just one portion or section of something. Can you break out your department's spending for only the last three months?
9. adjective Standout; attracting attention and accolades, especially for the first time. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. I had never heard of that actress before her breakout role in the award-winning movie.
10. noun The sudden appearance of skin irritation, typically pimples or hives. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. I'm sorry I'm late—I woke up to a breakout, so I had to spend extra time concealing all of my zits! I can't believe I have a breakout the day before my wedding!
See also: break, out

breakout hit

A piece of content, especially a song, that becomes extremely popular and successful very quickly and establishes the creator's reputation as a result. She actually had two albums already in the early 90s, but it wasn't until her breakout hit "I Want To Love You" that she became a household name.
See also: breakout, hit
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

break out

1. to burst forth suddenly, as with a fire, a riot, giggling, shouting, etc. A fire broke out in the belfry. A round of giggling broke out when the teacher tripped.
2. Sl. to leave. It's late, man. Time to break out. We broke out a little after midnight.
3. Go to break out (in pimples); break out (of something); break out (with something).
See also: break, out

break out (in pimples)

to erupt with something such as a rash, a cold sweat, or pimples. After being in the woods, I broke out in a rash. I think it's poison ivy. I hate to break out like that. Whenever I eat chocolate, I break out in pimples the next day.
See also: break, out

break out

 (of something)
1. Lit. to escape from something, often by destructive means, especially from prison. The convicts plotted to break out of prison. You don't have the guts to break out of jail!
2. Fig. to escape from something in one's life that is too confining. I was 16 years old when I finally broke out of my rigid upbringing. She just couldn't break out of her old patterns of behavior.
See also: break, out

break out (with a rash)

[for the skin] to erupt with pimples, hives, or lesions, from a specific disease such as measles, chicken pox, rubella, etc. Nick and Dan broke out with chicken pox. They both broke out at the same time.
See also: break, out

break something out (of something)

to remove something from something else by force. Carefully, she broke the gemstone out of the side of the rock face. She broke the gemstone out carefully.
See also: break, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

break out

1. Develop suddenly and forcefully. For example, A fire broke out last night, or He broke out in a sweat. [a.d. 1000]
2. Be affected with a skin eruption, such as a rash or boils, as in A teenager's face often breaks out in pimples. [c. 1300]
3. Prepare something for consumption, action, or use, as in Let's break out the champagne, or It's such a fine day-let's break out the fishing rods. [Early 1800s]
4. break out of. Force out by breaking; also, escape from confinement. For example, The hurricane broke the glass out of all the windows, or He broke out of prison but was soon apprehended. [Early 1600s]
5. Isolate a portion of a body of data, as in Please break out the sales figures from the quarterly report. [Mid-1900s]
See also: break, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

break out

1. To escape confinement: The prisoners dug a tunnel under the prison walls and broke out. He broke out from jail but was immediately caught.
2. To aid something or someone in escaping confinement: The gangsters broke their comrade out of jail.
3. To develop suddenly and forcefully; erupt: Fighting broke out in the street when the two gangs came together.
4. To start doing something suddenly or spontaneously: We were quietly eating dinner when suddenly the kids broke out laughing. The marching soldiers broke out in song.
5. To bring something forth: The enemy is attacking; break out the rifles! Let's break out the champagne and celebrate.
6. To become affected with pimples, hives, acne, or similar skin rash: Wash your face well in the evening or you'll break out. I accidentally walked through poison ivy and broke out in a bad rash.
See also: break, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

break out

in. to leave. It’s late, man. Time to break out.
See also: break, out
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The furniture within our breakout areas is easily changeable, there are plenty of different refreshment choices and they are all close to standard amenities."
To be able to understand why breakout in a shell surface can occur it is necessary to explain some phenomena in continuos casting process.
And Lawrence Ryan, chairman of the Cowra Breakout Anniversary Committee, told Kyodo News, ''Cowra is the place where reconciliation between Australia and Japan began after World War II, because of the breakout.
The breakout groups concluded that it is too soon to tell if SARS can be eradicated, but substantial reasons for concern exist.
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"What's more, the benefits--which reach well beyond traditional notions of self-help and have the potential to revolutionize your entire life--can be accessed through a simple but extremely powerful concept that I call the Breakout Principle."
The "breakout" character of the show's first season was a promiscuous 29-year-old named Brian, who lured a timid 17-year-old named Justin into a homosexual relationship.
The faculty member needs to line up a large conference room and several breakout rooms as well as ensure that coffee is available for breaks and food for lunch.
Breakout Software, a division of Breakout Technologies, Inc., Scotch Plains, N.J., has launched MonitorIT version 4.0, which adds a powerful WinServicesWatch(tm) component that monitors services on Windows NT and 2000 servers and workstations.
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Industry representatives voiced their concern over the quality and reliability of breakout spares used in major end-items rather than original equipment manufacture (OEM) spares.
The program emphasizes small group breakout sessions, in which all participants can interact.
Rowe's Breakout Stocks Faxletter as "a true groundbreaking campaign.
Breakout Capital, a fintech and nationwide small business lender, a SecurCapital company, has announced the completion of a senior secured credit facility with Medalist Partners, the company said.