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outstanding (adj.)

1610s, "projecting, prominent, detached," from out- + standing (adj.) "having an erect position, upright." Figurative sense of "conspicuous, striking" is recorded from 1830. Meaning "unpaid, unsettled" is from 1797.

The verb outstand is attested in 16c. as "endure successfully, hold out against," now obsolete; the intransitive sense of "to project outward from the main body, stand out prominently" is by 1755 and probably is a back-formation from outstanding. Earlier were outstonden "to stand up" (mid-13c.); outstonding (verbal noun) "a prominence or protuberance" (early 15c.), but these seem not to have survived Middle English. Related: Outstandingly.

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Definitions of outstanding from WordNet

outstanding (adj.)
owed as a debt;
outstanding bills
Synonyms: owing / undischarged
outstanding (adj.)
distinguished from others in excellence;
did outstanding work in human relations
an outstanding war record
outstanding (adj.)
having a quality that thrusts itself into attention;
an outstanding fact of our time is that nations poisoned by anti semitism proved less fortunate in regard to their own freedom
outstanding (adj.)
of major significance or importance;
Einstein was one of the outstanding figures of the 20th centurey
Synonyms: great
From wordnet.princeton.edu