flush out

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flush out

  1. To force people or animals to leave a place where they are hiding.
    The troops changed their tactics to try to flush out the guerrilla army.
    The dogs were sent into the woods to flush out the pheasants.
    • 2006, Amazing Grace, 00:49:23
      (William Wilberforce, speaking of a failed attempt to introduce an anti-slavery bill) "Our defeat in the House today was not unexpected. But our intention was to flush out the opposition and discover how many people would support us."
  2. To clean by forcing a lot of water, or other cleaning liquid, through a dirty container or conduit.
    The heavy rains last week have flushed out the drains, thereby eliminating the unpleasant smells that had developed over the summer.
  3. (finance) To eliminate other possible hostile bidders in a takeover attempt.
    Analysts said yesterday they expected the company's statement to flush out other would-be bidders.

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with flesh out.

See also[edit]