What does the idiom "out-and-out" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase out-and-out, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression out-and-out used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "out-and-out"

Meaning

The idiom 'out-and-out' is used to refer to an action or person that is total and absolute. It is used to emphasize the extent to which something is the case. This phrase is usually placed before another word or phrase to emphasize that it is the most extreme version of what is being described.

Etymology

The origin of the phrase 'out-and-out' is uncertain and there are theories that suggest that it could be derived from the Middle English phrase 'ut and ut' meaning 'completely and completely'. The phrase has been in use since the 16th century and appears in works by William Shakespeare and other poets of the period.

Usage

The phrase 'out-and-out' is used to emphasize the extent to which something is the case and is usually placed before another word or phrase to emphasize that it is the greatest level possible. For example, one might say 'it was an out-and-out disaster' to emphasize that the event or situation was a complete disaster without any hint of hope. This phrase can also be used to describe someone who is dedicated or committed to something and is seen as the epitome of what they are trying to accomplish.

Example Sentences

  • "He was an out-and-out performer in the game and scored the winning goal."
  • "She was an out-and-out scholar, always researching and devouring knowledge."
  • "His aim was to be an out-and-out leader in the industry."
  • "His speech was an out-and-out success, inspiring everyone to action."
  • "The team's performance was an out-and-out disaster."

The meanings of the words in the "out-and-out" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.

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