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This page has 3 definitions of outstrip in English. Outstrip is a verb. Examples of how to use outstrip in a sentence are shown. Also define these 17 related words and terms: move, quickly, outrun, leave, behind, overgo, overhaul, overtake, won, exceed, surpass, outdo, transcend, overstep, boundary, limit, and transgress.



From out- (prefix forming verbs with the sense of exceeding or surpassing) +‎ strip ((obsolete) to move or pass by quickly).[1]



outstrip (third-person singular simple present outstrips, present participle outstripping, simple past and past participle outstripped or outstript) (transitive)

  1. To move more quickly than (someone or something) so as to outrun or leave it behind.
    Synonyms: overgo, overhaul, overtake
    We quickly outstripped the amateur runners.
    • Leave definition
      To have a consequence or remnant.
      1. To cause or allow (something) to remain as available; to refrain from taking (something) away; to stop short of consuming or otherwise depleting (something) entirely. (1 of 15 leave definitions)
  2. (figuratively) To exceed or surpass (someone or something).
    Synonyms: outdo, transcend; see also Thesaurus:transcend
    This year’s production has already outstripped last year’s.
    • c. 1593 (date written), [William Shakespeare], The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. [] (First Quarto), London: [] Valentine Sims [and Peter Short] for Andrew Wise, [], published 1597, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
      Death and deſtruction dogge thee at the heeles, / Thy Mothers name is ominous to children, / If thou wilt outſtrip death, go croſſe the ſeas, / And liue with Richmond, from the reach of hell, []
    • 1594, Tho[mas] Nashe, “The Vnfortunate Traueller”, in The Vnfortvnate Traveller. Or, The Life of Iacke Wilton, London: [] T. Scarlet for C[uthbert] Burby, [], →OCLC:
      [A]s the eſtrich, the moſt burning ſighted bird of all others, inſomuch as the female of them hatcheth not her egs by couering them, but by the effectual rayes of her eyes, as he, I ſay, outſtrippeth the nimbleſt trippers of his feathered condition and[sic – meaning in?] footmanſhip, onely ſpurd on with the needle quickning goade vnder his ſide: ſo hee no leſſe burning ſighted than the eſtrich, ſpurde on to the race of honor by the ſweet rayes of his miſtres eyes, perſwaded himſelfe he ſhould outſtrip all other in running to the goale of glorie, only animated and incited by hir excellence.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i], page 14, column 1:
      [] O Ferdinand, / Doe not ſmile at me, that I boaſt her of, / For thou ſhalt finde ſhe will out-ſtrip all praiſe / And make it halt, behinde her.
    • a. 1634, George Herbert, “Lilies of the Temple”, in Alexander B[alloch] Grosart, editor, The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of George Herbert. [] (The Fuller Worthies’ Library), volume II (Verse), London: [] [Robson and Sons] for private circulation, published 1874, →OCLC, section II (Love), stanza 1, page 23, lines 1–6:
      Thou art too hard for me in Love; / There is no dealing wth Thee in that Art, / That is Thy Masterpeece, I see. / When I contrive and plott to prove / Something that may be conquest on my part, / Thou still, O Lord, outstrippest mee.
    • 1832, [James Fenimore Cooper], chapter XII, in The Heidenmauer; or, The Benedictines. A Legend of the Rhine. [], volume II, Philadelphia, Pa.: [Henry Charles] Carey & [Isaac] Lea [], →OCLC, page 163:
      Thy zeal outstrippeth the limbs of a weary man, brother.
    • 1842, Martin Farquhar Tupper, “Of Immortality”, in Proverbial Philosophy: A Book of Thoughts and Arguments, Originally Treated (Second Series), London: J[ohn] Hatchard and Son, [], →OCLC, page 185:
      We shall not die, but live,—and, of his grace, we love! / For, in the mysteries of Mercy, the One fore-knowing Spirit / Outstrippeth reason's halting choice, and winneth men to Him: []
    • 1858, S[amuel] F[ales] Dunlap, “Sun-worship”, in Vestiges of the Spirit-history of Man, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, [], →OCLC, page 60:
      Thou, Surya, outstrippest all in speed; thou art visible to all; thou art the source of light; thou shinest throughout the entire firmament.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, “Fifty-two”, in A Tale of Two Cities, London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, book III (The Track of a Storm), page 241:
      All the time, our overfraught hearts are beating at a rate that would far outstrip the fastest gallop of the fastest horses ever foaled.
    • 1963 October, G[eoffrey] Freeman Allen, R. K. Evans, “The Japanese National Railways and the New Tokaido Line”, in Modern Railways, Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allen Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 239:
      With a population that has risen by over 25 per cent since 1940 to over 10m, Tokyo has now outstripped London as the world's largest city.
    • 2009, Linda Acredolo, Susan Goodwyn, “Introducing the Baby Signs Program”, in Baby Signs: How to Talk to Your Baby before Your Baby Can Talk, 3rd edition, New York, N.Y., Chicago, Ill.: McGraw Hill, →ISBN, pages 13–14:
      [Y]our baby can easily learn simple signs for objects, events, feelings, and needs. With these signs literally at your baby's fingertips, communication between you can flourish during that difficult time from about six to thirty months, when your baby's desire to communicate outstrips his capacity to say words.
    • 2009 September 22, Gerry Connolly (Virginia), “Democratic Freshman Class Hour on Health Care”, in Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress, First Session (United States House of Representatives), volume 155, part 16, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 22291, column 1:
      [T]he average increase in insurance premiums over the last decade was 138 percent, far outstripping the rate of inflation and far outstripping, as you point out, the growth in wages and income.
    • 2011 December 19, Kerry Brown, “Kim Jong-il obituary”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian[2], London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 6 May 2021:
      Kim [Jong-il] was educated at the newly founded university in Pyongyang, named after his father [Kim Il-sung], graduating in 1964. The 1960s and early 1970s were the golden years for the DPRK. It undertook rapid industrialisation, economically outstripped its southern competitor, and enjoyed the support of both the People's Republic of China, and the Soviet Union.
    • 2023 March 8, Howard Johnston, “Was Marples the real rail wrecker?”, in RAIL, number 978, page 53:
      It also singled out ten routes (all closed except Leeds-Bradford/Ilkley) to show how costs outstripped earnings, without mention of what through-journey revenue they generated for the main lines to which they were connected.
    • Outdo definition
      To excel; go beyond in performance; surpass.
  3. (archaic, rare) To exceed or overstep (a boundary or limit); to transgress.
    • 1610 (first performance), Ben[jamin] Jonson, The Alchemist, London: [] Thomas Snodham, for Walter Burre, and are to be sold by Iohn Stepneth, [], published 1612, →OCLC; reprinted Menston, Yorkshire: The Scolar Press, 1970, →OCLC, Act V, scene v:
      Therefore Gentlemen, / And kinde Spectators, if I haue out-ſtript / An old mans gratuitie, or ſtrict canon, thinke / What a yong Wife, and a good Brayne may doe: / Stretch Ages truth ſometimes, and crack it too.
    • 2005 July, Will Staeger, Painkiller, New York, N.Y.: HarperTorch, HarperCollinsPublishers, published May 2006, →ISBN, page 13:
      Still, he thought that if Roy happened to expand his kingdom, outstripping that self-imposed nickname of his, it'd be nice to have the man on his list.
    • Limit definition
      A restriction; a bound beyond which one may not go. (1 of 12 limit definitions)


Derived terms



  1. ^ outstrip, v.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2020; “outstrip, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.