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[drop-out] /ˈdrɒpˌaʊt/
an act or instance of dropping out.
a student who withdraws before completing a course of instruction.
a student who withdraws from high school after having reached the legal age to do so.
a person who withdraws from established society, especially to pursue an alternate lifestyle.
a person who withdraws from a competition, job, task, etc.:
the first dropout from the presidential race.
Rugby. a drop kick made by a defending team from within its own 25-yard (23-meter) line as a result of a touchdown or of the ball's having touched or gone outside of a touch-in-goal line or the dead-ball line.
Also called highlight halftone. a halftone negative or plate in which dots have been eliminated from highlights by continued etching, burning in, opaquing, or the like.
Also called dropout error. the loss of portions of the information on a recorded magnetic tape due to contamination of the magnetic medium or poor contact with the tape heads.
Also, drop-out.
Origin of dropout
1925-30, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase drop out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dropout
  • Pushing a gifted potential-dropout to realize her full potential is, of course, a benefit to that student.
  • Event, status, and cohort dropout rates each provide a different perspective on the student dropout population.
  • dropout dogs might end up with a police department or another organization that doesn't mind having an animal with a lower drive.
  • He was a high-school dropout who worked as a cable installer in my former hometown, about an hour's drive from my new one.
  • There are two other bolts on the dropout, one for adjusting belt tension and another for locking everything into place.
  • The state's high school students had among the lowest achievement-test scores and among the highest dropout rates in the country.
  • Boys also dominate dropout lists, failure lists, and learning-disability lists.
  • The majority are designed to raise minimum standards or to cut the high school dropout rate.
  • That's also one of the big reasons why undergrad programs have such a huge dropout rate.
  • With lower dropout rates from school and more university graduates surviving, the country would get economic benefits back.
British Dictionary definitions for dropout


a student who fails to complete a school or college course
a person who rejects conventional society
(rugby) drop-out. a drop kick taken by the defending team to restart play, as after a touchdown
(electronics) drop-out. a momentary loss of signal in a magnetic recording medium as a result of an imperfection in its magnetic coating
verb (intransitive, adverb) often foll by of
to abandon or withdraw from (a school, social group, job, etc)
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
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Word Origin and History for dropout

"one who 'drops out' of something," 1930, from drop (v.) + out (adv.). As a phrase, drop out "withdraw" is recorded from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dropout



A person who withdraws; voluntary self-excluder, esp from school or college (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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