Etymology
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outbreak (n.)

"eruption, a sudden and violent manifestation" (of disease, hostilities, etc.), c. 1600, from the verbal phrase; see out (adv.) + break (v.). Outbreak (v.) "to break out, escape confinement" (c. 1300) was still in poetic use in 19c.

updated on October 15, 2019

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Definitions of outbreak from WordNet

outbreak (n.)
a sudden violent spontaneous occurrence (usually of some undesirable condition);
the outbreak of hostilities
Synonyms: eruption / irruption
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.