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To outdo is to act, behave, or perform in a manner that is better than in the past.

simple past past participle
  • Walter and Gabriel are always trying to outdo each other.
  • Simone hopes to outdo her last performance.
  • Jeff really outdid himself with his guitar solo. It was brilliant.
  • We outdo the competition at every level. (Likely to be said by a business in reference to other businesses with which it competes.)
  • Our team hopes it will not be outdone by the other teams leading up to the championship games.
  • Our students outdid themselves once again with their high test scores.

outdo with a performance She really outdid herself with that great performance.

The word "outdo" is often used in a sarcastic manner when a person’s performance or behavior is below expectations. The following examples express disappointment or unhappiness in what someone has done:

  • You’ve really outdone yourself. (You did something bad.)
  • It’s hard to believe that he outdid himself once again. (He did something bad.)
  • Just when we thought they couldn’t possibly outdo themselves, they go ahead and do it. (They did something was very bad.)

Note: The word "outdo" is often used with reflexive pronouns.

Published on January 17, 2018



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