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Have a means of escape or an excuse, as in I'm supposed to go to the meeting, but I have an out—Sam invited me first to come to his wedding. One can also give someone an out, as in She was hoping someone would give her an out; otherwise she'd be stuck visiting relatives all afternoon. [ ; early 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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