The Prefix OUT- (62 Common examples – Video – free PDF)

I’m always on the lookout for new prefixes to help English students increase their vocabulary quickly. This post will help you use the prefix out- to sound like a native speaker. Learn everything you need in one place.

The prefix out means greater, better, further, longer (in VERBS)
“The Army was outnumbered and surrounded by the enemy.” 

Out means outside; outward; away from (in ADJECTIVES and NOUNS)
“Peter is very outgoing and lots of fun to hang out with.” 

You will find new vocabulary with their definitions and example sentences. Real examples to help you use these words right away. Plus you will find a helpful video and a free PDF download.

“OUT” Different Meanings

The word OUT has many forms.
[Adjective, Noun, Verb, Adverb, Preposition, and Prefix]
The adverb and preposition forms have 30 meanings!


​having told other people that you are gay or lesbian

  • Sam has been out since college, but many of his friends already suspected he was gay in high school.

out_adjective – 

Out-and-out is an adjective phrase that means – each and every way.
It is often used with the noun lie to show that what was said was not true in any way.

  • The president said he would lower taxes but that was an out-and-out lie. He raised taxes after only 3 months in office!

out-and-out adjective – 

His tax promise was
an out-and-out lie!


​a way of avoiding having to do something

  • The boss wants us to work this weekend so I need to find an out quickly. 

out_noun – 


to say something publicly about somebody/something that they would prefer to keep secret

  • An investigative reporter outed the politician as a liar and a fraud.

out verb – 

The reporter outed the politician.


I have included a few of the 30 definitions from Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries dot com. I tried to choose definitions that I think are more common. You can view the entire list here. LINK

1) away from the inside of a place or thing

  • My wallet fell out of my pocket when I was getting off the train. Oh no!

I hate it when things fall
out of my pockets.

2) (of people) away from or not at home or their place of work

  • I called Mike this morning but he was out

3) outside; not in a building

  • Take a scarf with you, it’s cold out today.

4) used to show that somebody/something does not have any of something

  • Since the Factory closed down ⅓ of the town has been out of work. 

5) not in the library; borrowed by somebody else

  • I went to the library but the book I wanted is out. I put my name on the waiting list. 

That book is always out.
It is very popular.

6) not correct or exact; wrong

  • The couch doesn’t fit in my living room. I think my initial measurements were out.

7) not fashionable

  • A: Are wool ties out this winter?
    B: No, wool ties are a classic that always look great.

For the winter season,
wool ties will never be out.

8) to the end; completely

  • I can’t decide who should get the last piece of cake, you two will have to fight it out

It’s the last piece. Who wants it?
You guys will have to fight it out.


out- prefix (in verbs)

greater, better, further, longer, etc.

  • The team outperformed us for the whole game, they deserved to win. 
  • My son is growing fast. I bought him some new running shoes two months ago and he has already outgrown them. 

(in nouns and adjectives)

outside; outward; away from

  • The police made a thorough search of the outlying area but they couldn’t find the suspect. 
  • The North wing of the hospital is for outpatients

out- prefix

Word Origin

Old English ūt (adverb), ūtian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch uit and German aus.

Nouns with the Prefix OUT- 

All the definitions from the next sections of this post come from 

outback – the area of Australia that is a long way from the coast and the towns, where few people live

  • During my visit to Australia, I spend time in Sydney, Melbourne, and three days camping in the outback

outbox – the place on a computer where new email messages that you write are stored before they are sent

  • I’ve got 11 emails in my outbox ready to be sent. I’m waiting for my manager’s approval because the messages contain sensitive information. 

outbreak – the sudden start of something unpleasant, especially violence or a disease

  • There was an outbreak of measles at my school so I got a one-week vacation. 

outbuilding – a building such as a shed or stable that is built near to, but separate from, a main building

  • The large property has a huge house in the center along with several outbuildings

outburst – a sudden strong expression of an emotion

  • A French Member of Parliament has been banned after a racist outburst in parliament. 

outcome – the result or effect of an action or event

  • The team was sad after losing in the quarterfinals. This was not the outcome they expected. 

outcrop – a large mass of rock that stands above the surface of the ground

  • The hikers found some shade underneath a rocky outcrop near the river’s edge. 

outcry – a reaction of anger or strong protest shown by people in public

  • The city was forced to reopen the park after a massive public outcry

outdoorsman – a man who spends a lot of time doing outdoor sports and activities, especially in the countryside

outdoorswoman – a woman who spends a lot of time doing outdoor sports and activities, especially in the countryside

  • This forest campground is the ideal location for the outdoorsman or outdoorswoman in your family. 

outfield – the outer part of the field in baseball, cricket, and some other sports

  • The team’s strongest hitter was at the plate so I moved deep into the outfield.

outfielder – (in cricket and baseball) a player in the outfield

  • I used to play second base but I prefer being an outfielder.

outfit – a set of clothes that you wear together, especially for a particular occasion or purpose

  • I love your outfit. Where did you buy it? 

outflow – the movement of a large amount of money, liquid, people, etc. out of a place

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges have recorded a massive outflow of Bitcoin recently.

outgrowth – a thing that grows out of something else

  • Violence is often an outgrowth of people’s frustration and lack of opportunity. 

out-group – ​the people who do not belong to a particular in-group in a society

  • Most people have warmer feelings towards members of their in-group than the members of an out-group

outhouse – a toilet in a small building of its own

  • My family Cottage was deep in the woods so we didn’t have running water. We had an outhouse behind the building. 

outlaw – (used especially about people in the past) a person who has done something illegal and is hiding to avoid being caught; a person who is not protected by the law

  • The sheriff rounded up a posse to travel into the desert and catch the outlaws who robbed the bank. 

outlet – 1) a shop or an organization that sells goods made by a particular company or of a particular type

  • My wife and I went to the outlet mall to buy some new summer clothes. 

2) a way of expressing or making good use of strong feelings, ideas or energy

  • Stuart found woodworking was a great outlet for his frustrations. 

3) a device in a wall that you put a plug into in order to connect electrical equipment to the power supply of a building

  • Is there an outlet in this room? I need to charge my smartphone. 

outlier – a person or thing that is different from or in a position away from others in the group

  • The survey results were not affected by outliers in the group. 

Outliers: The Story of Success is a non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published in 2008. The book examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. 

outline – 1) a description of the main facts or points involved in something

  • I gave my boss an outline of what I wanted to present at the meeting. 

2) the line that goes around the edge of something, showing its main shape but not the details

  • The police drew an outline of where the body was found.

outpatient – a person who goes to a hospital for treatment but does not stay there

  • The North wing of the hospital is for outpatients

outperformance – the fact of achieving better results than somebody/something

  • The outperformance of the new company’s stocks disrupted the market. 

outpost – a small military camp away from the main army, used for watching an enemy’s movements, etc./a small town or group of buildings in a lonely part of a country

  • Four soldiers were stationed at the outpost.

outpouring – a strong and sudden expression of feeling

  • After the accident, the family received an outpouring of support from the community. 

output – the amount of something that a person, a machine or an organization produces

  • We need to increase our output if we hope to meet this month’s sales target. 

outreach – the activity of an organization that provides a service or advice to people in the community, especially those who cannot or are unlikely to come to an office, a hospital, etc. for help

  • Community outreach is important to support people who find themselves living on the streets. 

outside – the outer side or surface of something 

  • This door only opens from the outside.

Outside can also be used as a preposition that means – on or to a place on the outside of something 

  • Just leave the package on the floor outside my office.

Verbs with the Prefix OUT-

outbid – to offer more money than somebody else in order to buy something, for example at an auction

  • I wanted to buy a small Van Gogh painting at the auction but a collector from Brazil outbid me. 

outclass – to be much better than somebody you are competing against

  • The Netherlands outclassed Senegal in their match with two late goals.

outdo – to do more or better than somebody else

  • The meal was amazing tonight. The chef has outdone himself.
    (We often use the past participle outdone with the relative pronouns yourself, himself, and herself when we want to give a compliment for something very special.) 

Learn more about this grammar at my post here. Reflexive Pronouns – 16 examples (Free PDF download + Video)

outfit – to provide somebody/something with equipment or clothes for a special purpose

  • These army jeeps have been outfitted with machine guns and bulletproof glass. 

outflank – to move around the side of an enemy or opponent, especially in order to attack them from behind

  • The enemy had outflanked them. The soldiers had no choice but to surrender. 

outfox – to gain an advantage over somebody by being cleverer than they are

  • The General had outfoxed his enemies by attacking them from all sides. 

outgrow – to grow too big to be able to wear or fit into something

  • My son is growing fast. I bought him some new running shoes two months ago and he has already outgrown them. 

outlast – to continue to exist or take part in an activity for a longer time than somebody or something

  • The business did well by outlasting all its competitors. 

outlaw – to make something illegal

  • The city’s decision to outlaw sleeping in public parks has angered some homeless activists. 

outline – to give a description of the main facts or points involved in something

  • I outlined the proposal to my boss and he approved it. 

outlive – to live longer than somebody

  • My neighbor is 75, very healthy, and jogs every morning. I think he will outlive us all. 

outmaneuver – to do better than an opponent by acting in a way that is cleverer or shows more skill

  • The team had a good year but in the postseason they didn’t do very well. They were outmaneuvered by their opponents in the playoffs.

Postseason is a word made with the Prefix POST. Learn more HERE – The Prefix Post- (Definitions with 31 Real Examples)

outnumber – to be greater in number than somebody/something

  •  Even though the gang was outnumbered, they were still going to fight to the finish.

outpace – to go, rise, improve, etc. faster than somebody/something

  • Marathon competitors must keep a slow but steady rhythm and outpace the other runners.

outperform – to achieve better results than somebody/something

  • Linda outperformed the other tennis players and easily won the tournament. 

outplay – to play much better than somebody you are competing against

  •  She easily outplayed her opponent in the final match. 

outrun – to run faster or further than somebody/something

  • If you meet a bear in the woods the best thing to do is to play dead. You shouldn’t try to outrun it.

outrank – to be of higher rank, quality, etc. than somebody

  • My coworker has some great ideas but my manager outranks him. I need to follow my manager’s directions. 

outsell – to sell more or to be sold in larger quantities than somebody/something

  • We outsold our main competitor in the fourth quarter this year. Everyone is getting a year-end bonus. 

outwit – to defeat somebody/something or gain an advantage over them by doing something clever

  •  The drunk driver tried to outwit police officers, but he couldn’t fool the test that proved he had too much alcohol in his system.

Adjectives and Adverbs with the Prefix OUT-


outboard – on, towards or near the outside of a ship or an aircraft

The adjective outboard is used with the nouns engine and motor.

  • My boat is light and fast with two outboard motors.

outbound – traveling from a place rather than arriving in it

  • All outbound passengers should now move to gate #3.

outdated – no longer useful because of being old-fashioned

  • My boss has a lot of experience but many of his ideas are outdated. It’s time for him to retire.

outdoor – used, happening or located outside rather than in a building

  • I just bought some outdoor patio furniture to put in my backyard.

outdoorsy – enjoying outdoor sports and activities, especially in the countryside

  • Amanda was an outdoorsy child but as she got older she preferred staying at 4-star hotels to camping and sleeping in a tent. 

outgoing – liking to meet other people, enjoying their company and being friendly towards them

  • Sean is very outgoing and never has trouble making new friends. 

outweigh – to be greater or more important than something 

  • After looking closely at the proposal the cons seem to outweigh the pros so I decided to pass. (They were more bad points than good points so I didn’t accept the proposal.) 


outdoors – outside, rather than in a building

  • We cooked the hamburgers on the grill but the rain kept us from eating outdoors

outfield – in or to the outfield

  •  The ball was hit deep outfield.

outside – not in a room, building or container but on or to the outside of it

  •  I was 10 minutes early so I waited outside.

outward – towards the outside; away from the center or from a particular point

  •  The two large wooden doors open outward to reveal the beautiful entrance to the mansion.

outwardly – on the surface; in appearance

  • Internally the couple was having lots of problems but outwardly they seemed fine. 

Printable Prefix POST-
PDF 7-page E-guide

Download your printable PDF E-guide below. (It’s FREE!) PDFs contain the live links from the posts.↓

Can you think of any other words that use the prefix out- that I didn’t include in my post? Tell me in the comments.

Check out these other helpful Prefix and Suffix blog posts.

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