1590s, "shine more brightly than" (trans.), from out- + shine (v.). In this sense perhaps coined by Spenser. It was used in Middle English in an intransitive sense of "resplendent, shining forth" (late 14c.). Figurative sense of "to surpass in splendor or excellence" is from 1610s. Related: Outshone; outshining.
updated on October 19, 2019